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April 2013


Racing to Success! Corporate 100 Special Section

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XTO Energy is proud to be part of Alaska’s growing economy. You expect us to be responsible neighbors; we’re working hard to make sure we are. XTO Energy Inc.

52260 Wik Road, Kenai, Alaska 99611 907.776.8473

810 Houston Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76102 817.870.2800

April 2013 TA BLE OF CONTENTS ABOUT THE COVER Racing to Success! Alaska Business Monthly’s 2013 Corporate 100. An Alaska executive pairs modern technology with classic Alaskan techniques to mush his company’s team to success. (Photographed in Punchbowl Glacier near Girdwood.) Our annual Corporate 100 special section begins on page 66.

DEPARTMENTS From the Editor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Inside Alaska Business . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Agenda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 Right Moves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118 Alaska This Month . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146 Events Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 149 Market Squares . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150 Alaska Trends. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 151 Ad Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 154


Cover photo: ©2013 Oakley Cochran /

special section


Clean Energy 24 | Powered by Wind Companies turn turbines to profit By Zaz Hollander 30 | Innovative Renewable Energy Programs Making in a difference in rural Alaska By Julie Stricker 36 | Energy Efficiency Projects Alaska Native villages procure funding to move towards self-sufficiency Compiled by Mari Gallion

© 2013 Chris Arend


14 | The Enigma of Support for Higher Education: Impact on Alaska By Dr. Ashok K. Roy


18 | A HIT We Can Avoid By Al Tamagni


20 | New Valley Dairy Planning measured growth to survive By Rindi White



Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

42 | Clean Energy Construction and Design Harnessing the energy of tides, waves and waste By Mari Gallion 52 | Financing Clean Energy in Alaska Lender profiles and new projects By Tracy Barbour Fishing boats tie up at one of the major salmon processing plants at Naknek, on Bristol Bay, at low tide. The processing plants are the largest commercial customers for Naknek Electric Association, and the utility hopes it won’t lose them as a consequence of its bankruptcy.

12 | Kirk Garoutte, Owner Susitna Energy Systems Compiled by Mari Gallion

62 | Alaska Travel Industry Association Determining who is the next visitor to Alaska By Nicole A. Bonham Colby

40 | Geothermal Meltdown Alternative energy project pushes Southwest Alaska electric co-op into bankruptcy By Wesley Loy

Photo by Wesley Loy


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120 | Who’s Your Data? Buying or selling, it’s become a commodity Compiled by Alaska Business Monthly staff


123 | Managing Corporate Vehicle Fleets Growing industry for leased equipment By Margaret Sharpe


128 | Oilfield Service Companies Supporting oil and gas exploration and development in Alaska By Paula Cottrell

special section 139 | NPR-A Exploration Stymied Interior Department obstructs progress By Mike Bradner

Corporate 100 66 | 2013 Corporate 100 Top Citizens of Industry Directory

140 | Barrow Gas Fields Keeping homes heated and lights on By Dimitra Lavrakas

90 | 2013 Corporate 100 by Business Category and Total Employment figures

142 | Cook Inlet Gas Woes Meeting Southcentral Railbelt utility needs By Mike Bradner

92 | Working Hard, Playing Hard Professionals find fulfillment pursuing their avocations By Gail West 98 | Anchorage Symphony Orchestra Local musicians ‘play on’ to make Anchorage a world-class stage By Mari Gallion

special section

Courtesy Karen Peterson, University of Alaska Cooperative Extension Service

Clean Energy


102 | Anchorage Veterans’ Memorial Renovation Showing community support for sacrifices made By Margaret Sharpe 107 | CH2M HILL Born in an earthquake, raised on oil By Zaz Hollander 109 | Great Northwest Inc. Steady growth from branching out By Julie Stricker Photo by Greg Bombeck


Garn boiler paks await installation at Thorne Bay Elementary School.


56 | Extension of Renewable Energy Credits an Uncertain Gift By Kevin T. Pearson

Texting Alaskans.

112 | TelAlaska Remotely serving rural Alaska By Rindi White

57 | Alaska Business Monthly’s 2013 Clean Energy Directory Photo courtesy CIRI / Judy Patrick Photography


115 | UniSea Inc. A key player in Alaska’s fishing industry, Dutch Harbor’s economy By Julie Stricker

Fire Island Wind turbines. 6

Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013


Racing to Success!

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Volume 29, Number 4 Published by Alaska Business Publishing Co. Anchorage, Alaska Vern C. McCorkle, Publisher 1991~2009


Managing Editor Associate Editor Editorial Assistant Art Director Art Production Photo Consultant Photo Contributor

Susan Harrington Mari Gallion Tasha Anderson David Geiger Linda Shogren Chris Arend Judy Patrick


President VP Sales & Mktg. Senior Account Mgr. Account Mgr. Survey Administrator Accountant & Circulation

Jim Martin Charles Bell Anne Campbell Bill Morris Tasha Anderson Mary Schreckenghost

501 W. Northern Lights Boulevard, Suite 100 Anchorage, Alaska 99503-2577 (907) 276-4373 Outside Anchorage: 1-800-770-4373 Fax: (907) 279-2900 Editorial email: Advertising email: Pacific Northwest Advertising Sales 1-800-770-4373 ALASKA BUSINESS PUBLISHING CO., INC. ALASKA BUSINESS MONTHLY (ISSN 8756-4092) is published monthly by Alaska Business Publishing Co., Inc., 501 W. Northern Lights Boulevard, Suite 100, Anchorage, Alaska 99503-2577; Telephone: (907) 276-4373; Fax: (907) 279-2900, ©2012, Alaska Business Publishing Co. All rights reserved. Subscription Rates: $39.95 a year. Single issues of the Power List are $15 each. Single issues of Alaska Business Monthly are $3.95 each; $4.95 for October, and back issues are $5 each. Send subscription orders and address changes to the Circulation Department, Alaska Business Monthly, PO Box 241288, Anchorage, AK 99524. Please supply both old and new addresses and allow six weeks for change, or update online at Manuscripts: Send query letter to the Editor. Alaska Business Monthly is not responsible for unsolicited materials. Photocopies: Where necessary, permission is granted by the copyright owner for libraries and others registered with Copyright Clearance Center to photocopy any article herein for $1.35 per copy. Send payments to CCC, 27 Congress Street, Salem, MA 01970. Copying done for other than personal or internal reference use without the expressed permission of Alaska Business Publishing Co., Inc. is prohibited. Address requests for specific permission to Managing Editor, Alaska Business Publishing. Online: Alaska Business Monthly is available at, www. and from Thomson Gale. Microfi lm: Alaska Business Monthly is available on microfi lm from University Microfi lms International, 300 North Zeeb Rd., Ann Arbor, MI 48106.


t’s that time of year again… the days are getting longer, the sounds of birdsongs fill the air, and the stacks of firewood outside convenience store gas stations yield to the breakup season’s new last-minute must-have money maker: windshield washer fluid. And while the snow melts to reveal what lies beneath, Alaska Business Monthly also reveals this year’s Corporate 100: Racing to Success! As you peruse this year’s list, you may notice a few less-familiar faces in the crowd, as we strive to keep the Corporate 100 a dynamic list that keeps our readers guessing. Although the Corporate 100 was originally a list of the biggest corporations in Alaska, a few things have changed over the years. Unlike the Top 49ers, which is based solely on gross revenue, the Corporate 100 are selected based on a combination of benefits they add to the economy—corporate citizenship, jobs, revenue—all play a part in the subjective criteria. Alaska Business Monthly is also making an effort to bring some of Alaska’s smaller companies to the fore—but we can’t put your company on the list unless you fill out our surveys. So please, when you receive our surveys in your email, take the time to fill them out and submit. You never know what kind of exposure you will get! We’ve profiled some Corporate 100 companies, as we typically do; and we’ve added articles about what corporate citizens do in their spare time and a couple of endeavors that couldn’t exist without corporate sponsorship. In all, we’ve increased the Corporate 100 special section this year and hope you enjoy reading about the many companies making up the list. We’ve added a new directory and special section this April: Clean Energy. We hope you find some inspiration in the articles and companies doing clean energy businesses with in the directory. Statewide, it looks as though Alaska is fully embracing the business of clean energy. Once the money runs out subsidizing the business of clean energy though, we will have to evaluate to see if the investments bear out further funding. For now though, there is plenty of work spread around the state in alternative and renewable energy systems. Some say future funding will be focused more on the clean energy of natural gas displacing diesel and in building large, long-term hydro-power infrastructure—such as the 100-year Watana Dam. Whatever it may be, we are sure to be bringing you continued coverage as the future unfolds. My hard-working and diligent team at Alaska Business Monthly has brought you another great magazine, enjoy! —Susan Harrington, Managing Editor April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly




Bucher Glass

ucher Glass of Fairbanks has been awarded a $7.6 million contract to provide all exterior walls and windows for the State Libraries, Archives & Museum (SLAM) building project in Juneau. The wall panels, measuring approximately 5 feet 6 inches by 24 feet, are being fabricated in a newly leased 32,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in Fairbanks. The panels are scheduled to be sent to Juneau for installation late this year. Bucher’s new manufacturing facility will employ 16 to 20 Alaskans. For several years overseas panels have had a cost advantage over domestic panels. Working with Overgaard, an internationally recognized custom façade design company, Bucher has been able to bring this technology to Alaska and make it cost effective.

Lions Club International


olly Rardin, a 7th grade student at Steller Secondary School, has been named a merit award winner in the 25th annual Lions Clubs International Peace Poster Contest. Molly was one of 23 merit award winners announced at the Lions Day at the United Nations event in New York City. Other merit award winners include students from Brazil, China, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Nigeria, South Africa and the United States. Each merit award winner will receive a cash award of $500 and a certificate of merit. Rardin was among more than 400,000 students worldwide, ages 1113, who submitted posters this year. Entries were judged for originality, ar-

Compiled by Mari Gallion

tistic merit and portrayal of this year’s contest theme, “Imagine Peace.” Rardin was sponsored by the Mt. McKinley Lions Club.



rctic Slope Regional Corp. is proud to announce the winners of the 2012 North Slope Marketplace, a competition for residents of North Slope communities to compete for funding to start or expand North Slope-based businesses. The contest is intended to foster small business development by providing funding for the startup, maintenance and/or expansion of shareholder or descendant-owned small businesses. The competition is designed to inspire new business opportunities for North Slope communities and challenges entrepreneurs to compete for awards ranging up to $25,000. This year’s winners include: Rexford’s Gifts by Annie Rexford, an arts and crafts business that takes raw material such as baleen and ivory and produces tourism quality pieces in Barrow, Alaska; Stormi’s Satellite Sales and Service by Godfrey Paul Tuckfield, a satellite installation, repair and retail operation in Point Hope; and SylviaN-Micah’s Movies by Emma and Herb Kinneeveauk, a small movie rental store with small food offerings and DVD conversion services.


Northern Air Cargo

ron Dog Inc., the world’s longest, toughest snowmobile race, announced in February that Anchoragebased Northern Air Cargo (NAC) has

been inducted into the Iron Dog Hall of Fame. NAC has sponsored Iron Dog since the first race in 1984 and the induction of a corporate sponsor is a first for Iron Dog. “Over the years, hundreds of racers and thousands of volunteers have participated in the Iron Dog and helped to make it grow. We have honored a few of these folks by inducting them into our Hall of Fame. We’ve never honored a company before but we recognize that without the help and support of Northern Air Cargo, this race would not exist,” says Iron Dog president, Jim Wilke. “The Northern Air Cargo family is pleased to be a long-time sponsor of Iron Dog. We are greatly honored to be inducted into the Iron Dog Hall of Fame and recognized for our contribution to the success and longevity of the race. We look forward to a continued partnership for many years to come,” says Blake Arrington, NAC’s marketing manager.


Chugach Electric

he new Southcentral Power Project is now under utility control from SNC-Lavalin Constructors, the contractor hired to build the new power plant for two Anchorage-area utilities. The $369 million project became operational well ahead of its scheduled June transfer date. Groundbreaking occurred in March 2011. At the height of construction more than 400 workers were on-site. SPP is a joint project of Chugach and Municipal Light & Power. Chugach owns 70 percent of the plant and ML&P 30 percent. Those percentages set each

Your Project, Our Responsibility. 24/7 Service Pacific Pile & Marine has a robust fleet of marine equipment including our recent addition of a 600-Ton 4600 Ringer. I (907) 276-3878 276-3873 8

Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

From critical lifts to platform support, PPM is sufficiently resourced to deliver a wide range of construction services. 620B East Whitney Road I Anchorage, AK 99501

INSIDE ALASKA BUSINESS utility’s proportionate share for the fuel, expenses and output of the plant. Under the terms of an agreement between the two utilities, Chugach will operate and dispatch the power from SPP on behalf of the joint owners. Customers do need to pay for the cost of the new plant, however. Rates are expected to rise 4 to 6 percent in monthly bills in 2013. Chugach recently filed a request to recover its costs associated with SPP with the Regulatory Commission of Alaska.


Alutiiq Pacific LLC

ASA has awarded a protective services follow-on contract to Alutiiq Pacific LLC of Anchorage, which consolidates services at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., and its three affiliated facilities in the United States. The contract, valued at about $65 million, sets a firm fixed-price for core services and includes an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity component for additional services as needed. Full performance begins in April for Goddard; NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Va.; and NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York. Performance at NASA’s Independent Verification and Validation Facility in Fairmont, W.Va., begins Oct. 1. The contractor will provide physical security and armed uniformed services, patrol operations, K-9 services, emergency medical technicians, identification management, badging and access control. Additional services include security investigations, evidence collection, emergency management, incident command and response, conti-

Compiled by Mari Gallion

nuity of operations, electronic security systems, locksmith services and document control.



uccaneer Energy Limited announces that production from its 100 percent owned Kenai Loop #4 well commenced on Sunday, February 10. The Kenai Loop #4 well is currently producing at an initial rate of 2.0 million cubic feet per day. The majority of the current total production is being sold to the local gas utility Enstar. This production rate is currently limited by the installed temporary production facilities. In November 2012, the company commenced the installation of permanent production facilities and pipeline connections at Kenai Loop; however, severe weather conditions meant that the build out of these was suspended in December 2012. It is expected that the permanent facilities will be completed by April 30, 2013. Once permanent production facilities are in place, it is anticipated that the Kenai Loop field’s total production rate may be increased to 10.0 – 11.0 MMCFD (1,666 – 1,833 BOEPD). This represents a near 100 percent increase over the average production rate achieved in 2012.

Institute of the North


recent trip to Iceland as part of the Institute of the North’s Iceland Policy Tour allowed four University of Alaska Fairbanks students to explore energy technology and policy question through the lens of another circumpolar nation.

The students were selected through a competitive process and worked with mentors from the UAF Alaska Center for Energy and Power to conduct research through interviews and site visits. They traveled with a delegation that included 30 Alaska industry representatives, policy and community leaders and legislators. The five-day visit was designed to help participants better understand Iceland’s energy technology and policy, as well as the corresponding economic and infrastructure development, and how their experiences could apply to Alaska. The delegation visited the Hellisheidi geothermal plant, Karahnjukar 600-megawatt hydropower plant and Alcoa aluminum smelter, a data center, a community district heating system, and a mushroom production facility. In addition, the team met with the Ministries of Finance, Industry and Innovation, and Foreign Affairs as well as President Grimsson, the U.S. ambassador to Iceland, the U.S.-Icelandic Chamber and several other Icelandic government representatives. The student participants were: Josh Miller, who is seeking a Master of Science in Geology and Geophysics; Julie Emslie, who is seeking a Master of Arts in Alaska Native studies and rural development; Chris Pike, who is seeking a Master of Science in appropriate technology with a focus on district heating systems; and Dominique Pride, who is seeking a doctorate in natural resource and sustainability.

Copper River Seafoods


opper River Seafoods has joined the Hiring Alaskans Recruitment effort to encourage more Alaskans to

Your Project, Our Responsibility. 24/7 Service

Pacific Pile & Marine has a robust fleet of marine equipment including our recent addition of a 600-Ton 4600 Ringer. I (907) 276-3878 276-3873

From critical lifts to platform support, PPM is sufficiently resourced to deliver a wide range of construction services. 620B East Whitney Road I Anchorage, AK 99501 April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly


INSIDE ALASKA BUSINESS take advantage of seasonal fish processing job opportunities with Copper River Seafoods. To help shift the perception that seasonal seafood processing jobs are mostly for non-Alaskans, Copper River Seafoods launched a 3-minute video called Careers At Copper River Seafoods Start on the Processing Line, designed to encourage Alaskans to think about ways they might consider seasonal summer jobs as the first step into careers in their Alaska communities. The initiative is coupled with ads being placed in regional newspapers across the state with links to the new on-line job application as part of the Copper River Seafoods Inc. 2013 summer recruitment program. A year-round staff, based in Alaska—many of whom started their careers by fishing, working on the fish processing line or are from fishing or agriculture-related families—works in various fields that include accounting, information technologies, graphic design, human resource development, grant writing, quality control, asset management and production systems, fleet management, traffic control, refrigeration, facilities management and equipment maintenance.

Kautaq Construction Services


IC Construction Services subsidiary Kautaq Construction Services announced the recent opening of its Southwest regional office. The office is located in Phoenix, Ariz., and is strategically located to market projects within the Western United States. KCS

Compiled by Mari Gallion

recently completed a federal project for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and is currently the low bidder on a $6 million dollar project for the Navajo Nation with several more projects in the pipeline in this area. A significant portion of KCS projects in the Southwest have been with Native Americans and include federal projects, gaming and hospitality (including casinos), healthcare and educational projects ranging up to $210 million. KCS is one of four construction companies of UIC Construction Services: UIC Construction LLC; Rockford Corp.; and SIKU Construction LLC. UICCS is a holding company of the Ukpeaġvik Iñupiat Corp. of the Native village of Barrow, Alaska.



osneft and ExxonMobil have agreed to expand their cooperation under their 2011 Strategic Cooperation Agreement to include an additional approximately 150 million acres of exploration acreage in the Russian Arctic and potential participation by Rosneft (or its affiliate) in the Point Thomson project in Alaska. The agreements, which include plans to explore seven new blocks in the Chukchi Sea, Laptev Sea and Kara Sea, were signed by Igor Sechin, president of Rosneft, and Stephen Greenlee, president of ExxonMobil Exploration Company, in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The blocks are among the most promising and least explored offshore areas globally. A separate Heads of Agreement was signed providing Rosneft (or its affi liate) an opportunity to acquire a 25

percent interest in the Point Thomson Unit, which covers development of a remote natural gas and condensate field on Alaska’s North Slope. It is estimated that Point Thomson contains approximately 25 percent of the known gas resource base in Alaska’s North Slope. Rosneft and ExxonMobil also executed a Memorandum of Understanding to jointly study the economic viability of an LNG development in the Russian Far East, including the possible construction of an LNG facility.



he Bristol Alliance of Companies (Bristol) announced the opening of its newest office in Golden, Colo. This central location in the Denver area will give Bristol an expanded presence in the area, which includes the Rocky Mountain and Plains states, and will allow both current and future clients in the region to experience the customer-focused client service for which Bristol is known. The office will accommodate approximately 30 employees and will offer all of Bristol’s integrated services: civil and structural engineering, civil and vertical construction, environmental remediation, fuel systems, and range and unexploded ordnance response services. This will be the group’s seventh branch office in the U.S. “The new location allows us to further provide consistent, quality services to our clients in the Western United States and will enhance collaborative marketing and business development efforts throughout our operations,” says Joe Terrell, president and CEO. 

• General Contracting • Marine Infrastructure • Design Build

Dutch Harbor - Unalaska, Alaska I (907) 276-3873 10

Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

620B East Whitney Road I Anchorage, AK 99501

View from the Top

Compiled by Mari Gallion

Kirk Garoutte, Owner Susitna Energy Systems


irk Garoutte first set foot on Alaska soil while still in high school in the summer of 1969. For a military brat who’d lived all over the world—and who had recently been digging ditches at Fort Walton Beach in Florida for $1 an hour—the $4 hourly wage he could make in Alaska grinding the bottoms of tugboats during the summer break made him think he had found heaven. After a few more years of snowbirding between Florida and Alaska, Garoutte settled in Alaska permanently in 1974. After various career seasons that included working on the trans-Alaska oil pipeline, working in Saudi Arabia and Thailand for Morrison Knudsen, and spending many years as a crane operator, Garoutte found a new and fulfilling career while building his own off-the-grid home.

SERENDIPITOUS START-UP: I’d bought some remote property at Flat Horn Lake, and I’d read about inverters and battery banks, and didn’t know anything about them. At that time, I went all over town—nobody here could help me. So I started calling California, and found a guy who explained battery bank inverter operation to me. I bought an inverter— I bought batteries—I hooked it up at my place—lots of hard knocks—figured out what did and didn’t work, educated myself, and then everybody wanted me to do one for them. HAPPENSTANCE EXPANSION: Next I needed a wind generator. The company that I called said, “If you order three, we’ll make you a dealer.” So I found two people to buy the other two, we all got a good deal, and that’s how it all started. I was doing that part-time and being a crane operator fulltime, but in the crane operator field you typically work seven days a week 12 hours a day all summer, and then you wait all winter for another job. I got tired of that, I wanted something I could do in the winter—so I officially started SES (Susitna Energy Systems). KEEPING UP WITH THE CUSTOMER: We keep adding more and more products to our line because our mission is


Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

© 2013 Chris Arend

to provide you with everything you need to live off-grid as if you’re on-grid. We’ve become a dealer for Toyo, we do the really efficient Rinnai systems, we do propane lights, we do communications— we started with dish TV and we went to satellite Internet, we do satellite telephones… We try to offer everything you need to live in the bush comfortably. PERSONAL GUARANTEE: I have a really strong sense that I should test everything I sell before I’ll sell it to you. I sell two types of generators—I have one of each at my place—so I can speak intelligently about each product. I heat my house and my water with a Toyo stove and I have a solar hot water system here on our house in Anchorage. We have grid-connected photovoltaic and wind generators here in Anchorage. So we live the life that we are selling. A PHONE CALL AWAY: When it comes to customer service, that’s where the cow eats the cabbage with us. I travel all over the place for customer service calls—that’s the way I try to treat my customers. On the invoices for everything we sell, it says, “If you’re happy, tell everybody. If you’re not, call me.” And it includes my cell number. 


The Enigma of Support for Higher Education: Impact on Alaska ByDr.AshokK.Roy The views expressed herein are the author’s own and not those of the University of Alaska. “And not by eastern windows only, When daylight comes, comes in the light, In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly, But westward, look, the land is bright.” —Arthur Clough


esearch and development (R&D) gives a nation competitive advantage. From Whitney’s cotton gin to microprocessor chips to iPods, history proves this. Apart from corporate R&D centers, the intellectual firepower needed for R&D usually resides at universities. The primary role of universities is to serve society. The benefits of higher education are many, including: improving prospects and earnings for employment; preparing for success in the global economy; productivity; and civic participation. Historically, state appropriations have been the most important source of funding for higher education. As a nation, we have significantly reduced state support per student in recent years (between 1990 and 2010, appropriations per full time equivalent student declined by 26 percent. Note that with $18,000 of state appropriation per student FTE, Alaska is the exception to this trend). What is the implication of this when education is considered a public good? Over this same 20-year period, tuition has increased by 112 percent at public universities while median household income grew by 2 percent. As a result of decreasing state appropriations per student, rising tuition and stagnating median household incomes, the total student debt held by households stands at $1 trillion—more than the nation’s credit card debt. It needs to be realized that as higher education funding is discretionary, public 14

Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

universities have to compete with other state priorities. As higher education budgets are largely incremental—although more than 33 states currently implement performance-based funding systems—states such as Alaska that have supported higher education at a high rate are more likely to maintain the range of support, barring budget pressures like increasing oil production in the Lower 48.

Best in the World Our universities are the best in the world: six of the top 10, 13 of the top 20, and 130 of the world’s top 700 universities reside in the U.S.; and research shows that universities play a vital role in the economic development ecosystem via innovation. While the issues are inextricably linked, universities teach the next generation of innovators and also contribute via faculty research. At the University of Alaska, according to a recent study, for every dollar of state investment in UA research in fiscal year 2011, the university generated $5.60 in additional research revenues. Competitiveness is a complex issue involving streamlining of regulations, corporate taxes, infrastructure, attracting investments, energy prices and creating a more highly skilled workforce. We are all beneficiaries, albeit serendipitously, to partnerships between universities and government, especially the federal government. The G.I. Bill is widely accepted to have enhanced the nation’s human capital and, in turn, spurred economic growth and social mobility. In FY12, University of Alaska revenue from federal grants and contracts was $160 million—20 percent of its revenues.

Nevertheless, there are clouds on the horizon. These clouds rise from an increasing corporate emphasis on short-term results of translational discoveries and global competition. While university enrollment in the U.S. is stagnating, India is planning to increase the number of young people attending university from 12 million to 30 million in the next decade. The World Bank has observed that India’s economic success cannot be sustained without major investments in education. China’s investment in education has increased significantly in recent years. These decisions could impact not only U.S. jobs, but also new industrial development. With China and India’s high energy and commitment to higher education, we are on the precipice of a shift in world educational dynamism.

Dual Track Advance In my opinion, it is important as a nation for universities to advance on a dual track, one of applied research and the other of basic research, as it is the foundation on which new industries are built. As an example, the discovery of DNA by Francis Crick and James Watson via basic research has led to numerous commercial applications, such as: genetic alteration of plants, animals and microbes and commercially prepared insulin via applied research. Unfortunately, it is becoming increasing difficult to get funding to address the “big” questions in basic research as the private sector is less interested due to a lack of quick commercial application. Furthermore, as funding from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health and others becomes



Alaska Process Industry Careers Consortium Processing talent and ability into employer opportunity


laska Process Industry Careers Consortium (APICC) provides a unique complement of services to ensure the availability of skilled workers for Alaska. The nonprofit organization has approximately 50 members— including Alaska’s producers, Native organizations, education and government agencies—who work together to meet the workforce requirements of the Alaska process industry. “We connect justin-time career and workforce development and training programs,” says Executive Director Todd Bergman. “We’re the connecting organization between the industry’s needs and the training providers.” Established in 1998, APICC fills a critical role in the state. Alaska’s economy relies heavily on process industries, such as oil and gas production, refining, mining and power generation. These fields are directly responsible for more than a third of Alaska’s jobs, and skilled-work skilled-worker shortages jeopardize the economic health of the process industry—and state as a whole. Training, Workforce Development & Education APICC addresses skilled-labor deficiencies primarily through training, work workforce development and education. The Consortium administers the North Slope Training Cooperative, maintaining strict standards in health, safety and environmental training for Alaska’s process and support industries. In 2012, NSTC providers trained more than 9,000 people in Alaska. Regarding workforce development, APICC acts as a conduit for the process industry and education providers. Its leadership in developing University of Alaska’s process operator’s program is a prime example. The workforce

program—which covers industrial in strumentation and process technology skills—is being taught at three of the University’s campuses. “We’re trying to connect Alaskans to available careers and provide pathways and training propro grams for them,” Bergman says. Educational Initiatives The educational aspects of APICC’s ef efforts help create, connect and enhance the quality of career development for Alaskans. That’s why the Consortium partners with educational institutions, labor organizations, government agencies and trade groups to facilitate programs that build strong career connections. APICC targets K-12 systems, private and public post-secondary systems, and the University Alaska system. APICC operates an engaging Process and Energy Industries Mobile Briefcase initiative for high school students. Brief Briefcase activities focus on occupational skills using simulations from oil, gas, mining, power generation and water quality management. The consortium also administers industry-led engineering academies and Teacher Externships that give teachers real-world career experience to take back to the classroom. P A I D


Building Awareness APICC also creates an effective communications network to build understanding and promote engagement among the process industry, education, labor organizations, government agencies and Native organizations. Through Teacher Industry Externship’s, Alaska’s teachers learn first-hand about career opportunities for their students APICC also generates awareness of opportunities, needs and ef efforts that develop an Alaskan workforce for the process industry. As such, APICC is working to better delineate the needs of the process industry; hence, the publication of its Priority Occupations Report. APICC is also integrating the needs of Alaska industry into the Alaska Career Information System (AKCIS). Getting into this comprehensive career-planning tool will strengthen the Consortium’s position as the go-to source for industry information and career opportunities. “It will put the access to and information about industry process career opportunities in another domain,” Bergman says. “This should give us greater success in making stronger career connections with Alaskans.”

Alaska Process Industry Careers Consortium Cari-Ann Ketterling, APICC Manager 2600 Cordova Street, Suite 105 Anchorage, AK 99503 (907) 770-5250 • Fax: (907) 770-5251

more targeted we will not see immediate impacts there either. Previously, only prestigious universities such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology and John Hopkins engaged in classified research. Today, with less government spending, more universities, such as the University of Delaware and the University of Maryland, are getting into classified research, giving faculty opportunities to tackle issues at the forefront of technological development. While the U.S. today maintains a huge advantage in its universities, it has a huge disadvantage pervading its K-12 education system. The uneven K-12 education threatens the nation’s competitiveness. Every state is grappling with the question of how to make sure that high school graduates are prepared for university and what to do with those who are not prepared. On average, nationally 43 percent are not ready for university— at the University of Alaska it is 54.8 percent—and so the universities have to do remedial work, which costs the nation billions of dollars. This complex issue brings up questions of access and affordability as well.

Creative Thinking There is also a central debate going on in higher education on the role and need of liberal arts. In this time of budgetary challenges, the liberal arts and humanities departments and curricula are under tremendous pressure to demonstrate their net value. While we should certainly evaluate them, we should also remember that they give students the ability to be creative thinkers, which leads to innovation. The Harvard Business Review recently added fuel to the fire by saying that the Master of Fine Arts is the new Master of Business Administration. There are certainly good arguments why this is the case. For example, Steve Jobs and Warren Buffet both relied heavily on imagination as they created a vision of markets to come. As I often mention, the 19th century was the century of chemistry, the 20th century was the century of physics, and the 21st century will be the century of biology. It is no wonder; therefore, that biomedical engineering is the field of the future with numer16

Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

ous universities such as MIT, Ohio State, Georgia Tech and John Hopkins already offering more than 64 undergraduate programs in this field. STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) graduates predominate among nations in the international innovation league tables. This is why the Royal Academy of Engineering recently voiced concern that the United Kingdom was only graduating 23,000 engineers each year while China and India are producing 20 times and eight times as many, respectively. There is a huge demand for STEM graduates, and while we are seeing younger students interested early on in the sciences, the key is how to teach science so that students persist in science. As research funding becomes more competitive, there is concern about how college graduates in the sciences will value their future. Studies show that nearly all patents in STEM fields are a crucial driver of job/economic growth. Studies also depict that immigrants are behind three of every four patents from leading universities—MIT, Stanford and the University of California system—which argues for immigration reform for U.S. educated STEM graduates and entrepreneurs. It also makes eminent sense to increase total U.S. R&D expenditures to at least 3 percent of our GDP (currently, it is 2.9 percent) and also make permanent the research and experimentation tax credit.

Visualize the Future The sweep, scale and pace of the revolution of the higher education landscape today is breath-taking and disruptive. We have to visualize the future to stay ahead of the curve. Let me provide a few examples to illustrate my point: First: The structural model at universities will change. New instructional models are emerging to address productivity in higher education. Since 1983, in the U.S., the cost per student has risen five times the rate of inflation. Some of the top institutions—Harvard, MIT and Stanford— are figuring out how to do more with less on a scale not imagined earlier through massive open online courses or MOOCs. Online courses permit universities to spread the cost of the course

over huge numbers of students, permit students to learn at their own pace, do not permit student charges to subsidize research, reduce the need for costly campus facilities, allow clusters of universities to pool their resources, and offer the prospect of lower-cost degrees. Two companies, Udacity and Coursera, are at the front. These feature free classes taught by professors from a range of top universities and are open to all. Udacity alone already has 160,000 students from 190 countries. Hybrid or blended programs will become routine. Yet another exciting example of the digital effect is tuition at the new online Western Governors University, which is supported by 19 governors and costs less than $6,000 a year. Let me highlight a prognosis by Dr. Sebastian Thrun, who is the founder of Udacity and a computer science professor at Stanford University: “In 50 years, there will be only 10 institutions in the world delivering higher education.” Harvard University professor Clayton Christensen goes further in predicting “wholesale bankruptcies” of standard universities in the next decade. Something we all should ponder and reflect upon. Should universities specialize to survive? Generally, it is students from the bottom tier who need the face-toface instruction, advisers, counselors and learning-disability experts to get them through college. So, it remains to be seen empirically if just more access via massive open online courses at lower costs will address the changing demographic challenges of the U.S. Second: Higher education will consolidate around hubs. Much like the Silicon Valley is a hub for business start-ups and Milan a hub for the fashion industry, we are seeing educational hubs driven by globalization: New York, Boston, Chicago in the U.S.; London in the UK; Education City in India; in Singapore; in Qatar; and Abu Dhabi. Third: The funding model at universities will change. More than 40 percent of universities are already looking at privatization for long-term revenue. The classic example is Ohio State University’s (63,000 students) recent transition to privatized parking.

versity systems such as University of Wisconsin in Madison and University of Minnesota in Minneapolis are also ramping up efforts to brand themselves by uniting disparate parts. Fourth: The cost model at universities will change. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2011-12, the per-year estimated total price of attending a fouryear public university is $20,056. There were 9.6 million students enrolled at public four-year universities. Universities have to bend the cost curve and make college more affordable. At the University of Alaska, for fiscal year 2012, the total operating expenses were contained at a modest 3 percent, and the tuition increase for fiscal year 2014 is a modest 2 percent. So, the University of Alaska is trying to bend the cost curve. Also, look for more creative scheduling for classes like at Arizona State University where two intensive courses can be taken back-to-back in one semester thereby making earlier graduation possible.

The Choice is Ours I am an optimist. I am confident that we can have a national policy on competitiveness and human capital that will guarantee that the 21st century, much like the 20th century, remains very much an American century. The choice is ours to make, but we cannot afford to wait too long.  Dr. Ashok K. Roy is the Vice President for Finance & Administration/ Chief Financial Officer for the University of Alaska system. Dr. Roy has significant experience, at senior management levels, at three other large universities, local government, and in the private sector. Dr. Roy was educated in the USA and India, and holds six university degrees and five professional certifications. He has authored 68 publications in academic and trade journals.

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A HIT We Can Avoid ByAlTamagni


s the owner of a small pension administration firm in Anchorage, I have had a front row seat for the economic turmoil of the last few years. From the scary and turbulent times of the recession to the cautiously optimistic feelings around the nascent recovery, I have seen how the economy has a real effect on the mental and material well-being of the people I work with. My position allows me the opportunity to work with business leaders from every corner of the economy. From the service industry to healthcare to construction—my clients run the gamut. But as diverse as these clients are, they all seem to share one similarity: a concern for what a little-talked-about tax


Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

The health insurance tax, or HIT for short, is a tax on the health carepoliciespurchasedinthefully-insuredandindividualmarkets. Over the course of the next 10 years, people purchasing these healthinsurancepolicieswillpayatotalof$100billionjusttoward thisspecifictax. from President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act will do to their bottom lines. The health insurance tax, or HIT for short, is a tax on the health care policies purchased in the fully-insured and individual markets. Over the course of the next 10 years, people purchasing these health insurance policies will pay a total of $100 billion just toward this

specific tax. Much of that $100 billion in increased taxes will come straight out of the pockets of small business owners and their employees. You see, unlike many large businesses and labor unions that use selfinsured health care plans, 100 percent of small businesses and self-employed individuals purchase health insurance on the HIT-affected fully-insured and

individual markets. All told, about 36 million Americans will be on the hook for a tax increase of $500 a year. For an individual or family, that is a significant amount. For a business that employs 20, 30 or 40 people, the numbers can get very big, very fast. Alaska’s 68,000 small businesses and their 284,000 employees certainly have an interest in seeing the HIT repealed. But so do those not directly affected. The HIT could mean the local hardware store closes its doors, neighbors face reduced hours at work or lose health insurance, or companies cut back on employee perks such as matching 401(k) contributions. The small business community is grappling with how to deal with this tax increase many did not know about or see coming. As with most things involving Congress and the federal government these days, there is a lot of uncertainty around the HIT. Many businesses I talk with have decided to hold off expanding or hiring new employees until they get a better feel for how the HIT will affect their bottom line. At a time when the national economy is struggling to dig itself out of recession, hitting small businesses with this huge tax increase is simply the wrong course of action. Fortunately, there is help on the way. Despite the challenges with finding an area of agreement on anything these days in Washington, the HIT may actually be something that brings Democrats and Republicans together. Representatives Charles Boustany (R-La.) and Jim Matheson (D-Utah) have authored common-sense legislation to repeal the HIT. This bipartisan bill is an example of legislators setting aside political differences to act in the interest of the people that elected them instead of trying to score cheap political points. Our country needs more leadership like that in the future. Our economy, meanwhile, needs to stop the HIT now. ď ’ Al Tamagni is the owner of Pension Services International, a pension administration ďŹ rm in Anchorage. He also is the Chair of the National Federation of Independent Business/Alaska Leadership Council.

April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly



New Valley Dairy Planning measured growth to survive ByRindiWhite


Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013


airyingin Alaskahas notbeenawalk intheparkfor thepastseveral years.Dairy farmshave closeddueto illnessandlack offunds,the stateclosedits long-running creamery, another creamery ventureopened andrecently closed,and meanwhilethe priceofmilkin thestorehasn’t changedalot.

What’s a dairy farmer to do when the cows are making milk and there’s no dairy to buy it? Havemeister Dairy Farm, the Valley’s largest dairy, decided to tackle the issue head-on and open its own milk bottling plant. Since Thanksgiving, Havemeister Dairy milk has been on the shelves in Three Bears, Fred Meyer, New Sagaya, Cubby’s Marketplace near Talkeetna and Steve’s Food Boy in Big Lake. Most Alaskans drink milk from Outside dairies. Freshness is the primary argument in favor of local milk—Havemeister Dairy milk is milked one day and on store shelves the next. Compare that with Outside milk, which is frequently eight or nine days old by the time it reaches Alaska. Although previously dairies in the Valley have survived with state or federal assistance, Havemeister Dairy operator Ty Havemeister says he and his family are doing this one on their own. “It’s all privately funded,” he says. “I don’t have someone to go back to if this doesn’t work out. I’m fine with that— that’s reality.” If it succeeds, it will do so because there’s a market for local milk. If the market isn’t there, he says, then maybe dairies shouldn’t operate here.

infusion of federal and private funding, the new dairy venture began taking milk four months after Matanuska Maid closed. And although things looked good for a while, the new dairy had financial problems too, falling behind in payments to the state and on payments to farmers for their milk. “Out of three dairy farms, there was over a million dollars of raw milk that was never paid for,” Havemeister says. “When you’re a small farm, you can’t do that.” Matanuska Creamery shut down in mid-December, laying off more than 15 employees and leaving farmers again without a buyer for their milk. Also that month, Kyle Beus, one of the founders of the dairy, was indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly misusing federal funds intended for Matanuska Creamery. Alaska’s remote nature means it’s both difficult and prohibitively costly to bring cows here or sell them to Outside buyers. There’s little demand within Alaska for dairy cattle outside the already operating farms, so if one goes out of business, it’s likely a death knell for the herd. Brost, who has been operating since 1995, told reporters in December he

HeconnectedwithDairyHeritage,acompanythatmakescheese andmilkprocessingequipment.Thecompanybuilthisprocessing plantattheirfacilityinMaryland,thendismantledit,shippeditup andrebuiltitattheHavemeisterfarmoffTrunkRoad. Valley Dairies have a Checkered Past The state’s largest dairy, Matanuska Maid, got its start in 1936, not long after colonists arrived in Palmer as part of a federal resettlement program. The company went bankrupt in 1986 and, in an effort to keep the dairies supplying the creamery running, the state stepped in to run the company. It continued operating until 2007, although it struggled financially. Under then-Gov. Sarah Palin, the state Creamery Board made the decision to pull the plug, cutting about 50 jobs at two plants and sending dairy farmers into a tailspin. From that catastrophe, Matanuska Creamery emerged in 2008. With an

had contacted the state-run Mt. McKinley Meat and Sausage slaughter plant to let them know he might need to slaughter his herd. It hasn’t come to that, Brost says, but it’s been a hard couple of months.

Family Sees Opportunity when Farm is in Jeopardy Havemeisters sensed the end of Matanuska Creamery was approaching and began building a small dairy in 2011. They’re one of the oldest dairy farms operating in the state—and with a herd of about 150 cows, they’re also among the largest. They’ve stayed around in part because of their business acumen. April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly


“Icanpasteurize530gallonsan hour and bottle 1,000 gallons an hour. I can easily do double whatourfarmisdoing,asfaras rawmilk—doubleitonthesame day.” —Ty Havemeister

Helen Riley, Ty Havemeister’s aunt, says her parents began operating the Trunk Road dairy farm in the late 1930s. Her mother and father, Arnold and Emmy Havemeister, had traveled to Alaska as colonists in 1935 as part of the New Deal federal resettlement effort. Farmers were given 40 acres, a home and a barn, and had to clear the land and make improvements in order to fulfill their commitment to the colony effort. Ty Havemeister is the son of Bob and Jean Havemeister and the third generation to be involved in the family operation. Until recently he and his wife were raising a family in Florida. He was an Orlando-based independent financial adviser. But with three children, Havemeister wanted to find a way back to Alaska. “The thought of raising my kids in Orlando—and there’s nothing wrong with Orlando; Florida is a gorgeous state, for sure—but when you’re talking about raising them here or there, it was an easy decision,” he says. The choice, he says, became whether to stay in the financial industry or do something different. The challenge of making a small dairy successful in Alaska was alluring. “I knew there had to be a way, on a small scale, that you could do this,” Havemeister says. So he did a little research and visited small-scale dairies from Iowa to Maryland. He connected with Dairy Heritage, a company that makes cheese and milk processing equipment. The company built his processing plant at their facility in Maryland, then dismantled it, shipped it up and rebuilt it at the Havemeister farm off Trunk Road. The building is 4,200 square feet, he says, and the processing plant is about 2,000 square feet. It’s small, but it’s enough for now, Havemeister says. 22

Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

“I can pasteurize 530 gallons an hour and bottle 1,000 gallons an hour. I can easily do double what our farm is doing, as far as raw milk—double it on the same day,” he says. But first, Havemeister says, he needs more customers.

Balancing Market Demand and Supply So far, there hasn’t been a problem finding a market for the milk, Havemeister says. It’s on shelves at stores all over Southcentral Alaska and is used in several coffee shops in the Valley. “It’s done really well,” Havemeister says. “It’s come down to local support; anybody that buys our jugs, we wouldn’t be here without you.” At the end of February, the new venture was preparing to get milk on the shelves of Carrs/Safeway stores as well, a move that Havemeister says would allow him to regularly take milk from the Brost/Yoder dairy at Point MacKenzie. Brost, who owns that farm and leases operations to the Yoder family, says he is looking forward to having regular

Havemeister says the agreement with Carrs/Safeway should allow him to pick up as much milk as the Brost/Yoder farm can produce. He hopes that as the dairy continues to grow, the Brost/Yoder farm will be able to ramp up production again, a process that Brost says would take more than a year. “My plan all along has been to try to maximize their production as well, and to use it and sell it. I think the market is there,” Havemeister says.

School Milk Dilemma Havemeister says he’s frequently asked if local milk will soon be offered at local schools. “At this point in time, there’s no way I could entertain it,” Havemeister says. It’s tough to compete with the cost of milk shipped up from Outside, he says. And currently, he doesn’t have the equipment to package his milk into half-pint cartons. Perhaps if the schools were willing to install milk dispensers, he could consider it, he says. But even then, there’s an inherent problem with school milk supply contracts: timing.

HavemeistersaystheagreementwithCarrs/Safewayshouldallow himtopickupasmuchmilkastheBrost/Yoderfarmcanproduce. He hopes that as the dairy continues to grow, the Brost/Yoder farmwillbeabletorampupproductionagain,aprocessthatBrost sayswouldtakemorethanayear. milk pick-ups again. Since Matanuska Creamery shut down in December, he says Havemeister stopped at his farm twice, picking up about four days worth of milk. The rest had to be dumped on the ground, he says. “We’re not milking as much as we would under normal conditions,” Brost says. “We’re kind of in a circling pattern; we’ve dried off cows and cut back on their feed.” Because of the lack of demand—and few payments coming in—Brost says several of the cows are no longer producing milk. Because the dry cows are no longer expending the calories needed to produce milk, they’ve also cut back on the calorie-rich feed that helps keep production levels high. “Both the Yoders and myself are sitting here patiently,” Brost says.

Peak production for Alaska dairy farms is in the summer, when schools are closed. “I’d be at a milk shortage in the winter and have way too much milk in the summer,” he says.

What’s Next? Havemeister says he plans to slowly expand his business so his and the Brost/ Yoder herds are at maximum production levels. Down the road, he might consider producing more products, like aged hard cheeses. “But that’s way down the line,” he says. “We’re still figuring this thing out.”  Rindi White is a freelance journalist living in Palmer.


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special section

Clean Energy

Photo courtesy of Golden Valley Electric Association

Carlile Transportation Systems hauling EvaCreekWindFarmcomponentstotheprojectsitelastsummer.

Powered by Wind Companies turn turbines to profit ByZazHollander


he 11 turbines revolving on Fire Island mark a unique venture in Alaska: a commercial-scale wind farm built not by a utility but an independent power producer. Cook Inlet Region Inc. formed subsidiary Fire Island Wind LLC to sell Fire Island power. The project generates enough electricity to power 4,000 homes. The Anchorage-based Alaska Native Corporation footed the bill for the equity on the $65 million project and found a private lender for the debt: CoBank out of Denver. The venture isn’t without risk. A $16 million federal grant actually came in


Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

lower than expected, says Suzanne Gibson, CIRI’s senior director or energy development. CIRI also can’t pass along costs to rate payers. Still, the corporation hopes to get a return on its investment in what CIRI views as a promising start in independent power generation, Gibson says. “We’re in a region of Alaska that requires a lot of capital investment and the utilities can’t afford to do all of that investment on their own,” she says. “We need more private entities that are willing to put up their own capital and the only way to do that is through return.” The Fire Island project exemplifies

a growing clean-energy industry for Alaska: the business of wind.

Rising Business Segment Wind power represents the state’s most visible and rapidly developing new form of renewable energy. Along with those trademark turbines rising around the state, there is a less-obvious but healthy economic sector supporting Alaska’s wind industry. Companies that support the wind industry in Alaska range from turbine foundation installation to windturbine haulers and road construction companies.

Big Farms There are two forms of wind power generation in Alaska: the big wind farms operating on the Railbelt and in Kodiak, and smaller wind-diesel hybrid systems popping up in villages across the state. Several large projects make power from wind: ■ The largest wind project in Alaska is Golden Valley Electric Association’s Eva Creek near Healy, a 12-turbine wind farm. A $93 million project that received $13 million in state grants and appropriations, Eva Creek can generate just under 25 megawatts of electricity. Assuming oil prices of $116 per barrel and accurate forecasted generation estimates, Eva Creek Wind could save members approximately $4 million through the end of this year, according to GVEA. ■ Kodiak Electric Association operates the six-turbine Kodiak Island Wind Farm on Pillar Mountain. The utility is also installing a major upgrade: a battery energy storage system to even out the sometimes inconsistent power wind provides. All told, the system

Photo courtesy of STG Incoporated

More than two dozen contractors worked on Fire Island alone. Brice Marine transported the Fire Island turbines from the Port of Anchorage. STG Incorporated served as the main heavy-lift contractor on the Fire Island job. The company used five cranes, including the largest “crawler” in the state: a 660-ton Liebherr. Contractor UpWind Solutions Inc. maintains three technicians responsible for maintenance, operations and trouble-shooting. The benefits aren’t always directly tied to the bottom line. Wind is starting to play a significant role addressing energy needs in Alaska’s rural areas, where it offsets the skyrocketing cost of diesel. “Wind power is one of the smallest business segments we’re involved with; however, it’s something we’re very passionate about,” says Clinton White, STG’s business development director. “Our mission as a company is to support the sustainable development of rural Alaska. This work allows us to realize our mission in a very meaningful way.”

STG crews unload a 14,000-poundbasetowersectionfora2009windturbine installationinGambell.

is expected to produce 13 million kilowatt hours per year, saving more than 900,000 gallons of diesel annually, according to KEA. ■ Fire Island produces up to 17.6 megawatts of power for Chugach Electric Association through a 25-year purchase-power agreement that began in January. The wind power price is higher than today’s average price of Cook Inlet natural gas-generated power but cheaper than some of the power generated and used in the region today, according to CIRI. It’s expected to become increasingly attractive as gas and other energy costs increase. CIRI says Fire Island will offset 500 million cubic feet of natural gas.

Small System, Worldwide Potential A different wind power model fuels homes in rural Alaska, far from Railbelt transmission lines. The state’s current wind industry got its start with a wind farm in the late 1990s in Kotezbue. That project triggered a flurry of wind activity in villages around the state, largely small-scale projects based on wind-diesel hybrid systems. Wind is a variable resource that produces power only when the wind blows at certain speed. Wind power generation relies on consistent wind over the course of a year, plus a certain optimal wind speed: 20 or 30 mph is good. Because they don’t feed into a grid, villages turning to wind require the use of diesel fuel as a backup. That means wind-diesel hybrid systems are replacing diesel systems in some villages.

Today, there are 26 wind-diesel projects around the state, according to Chris Rose, executive director of the Renewable Energy Alaska Project. Many of them receive financial backing from the state Renewable Energy Fund, a $250 million pool designated for lower energy costs to Alaskans. “Most definitely there’s a benefit,” says Steve Gilbert, senior project manager with the Alaska Village Electric Cooperative, which serves 55 villages. “We have 34 wind turbines serving 12 different communities, using what we call interties so we can connect one village to another and share the benefits of wind with multiple villages, displacing fuel.” Some 100 villages have developable wind, Rose says. The catch: money, as for any kind of development in Alaska’s rural reaches. Alaska’s isolation from large transmission grids is also problematic. Still, he says, the wind-diesel systems have worldwide potential. Control systems that shut off diesel when the wind is blowing—and vice versa—have spawned an increase in wind-diesel systems, making them more economical to run. “There are 1.6 billion people around the planet without electricity. Many live in small isolated villages like we have here in Alaska,” Rose says. “As we perfect and optimize wind-diesel systems, we have the opportunity to pass that knowledge and technology on to the rest of the world.”

Learning to Deal with Logistics The Eva Creek project illustrates the economic impact—and challenges—of Alaska’s wind industry, even on the grid. April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly


Harnessing potential, powering growth.

The Eklutna Generation Station

30% more efficient than any other electric generation plant on the Railbelt.

e th lity . f ld eo ua oM air-q wor s e th ets st Me icte ds in str dar

The power to make it happen 26

Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

n sta

Brice Inc., based in Fairbanks, is a Calista Corp. subsidiary specializing in construction, marine services, equipment rentals and quarry materials. It built the roads on the Eva Creek project. Brice worked as a subcontractor for Michels Corp., a Wisconsin company contracted by Golden Valley to build the project. Eva Creek is the only wind project in Brice’s portfolio. Brice’s $10 million contract included building new roads at the wind farm site and upgrading an existing state road for eight or nine miles. It also built pads for the turbines and transported the turbines from an Alaska Railroad siding. Carlile Transportation Systems was Brice’s subcontractor, and actually trucked the components to the site. Moving the turbines up the hill proved “exciting,” says Marcus Trivette, Brice’s project manager. Trucks moved heavy turbine sections—the nacelle that houses the turbine’s generating components weighed 160,000 pounds—up a 10 percent grade, at times with help from a grader pulling the trucks uphill. “The unique part of this project is that the project is not on the road system,” Trivette says. “Everything had to come across the Nenana River by rail.” Rural projects, of course, come with logistical hurdles too. STG’s White says every project that company works brings unique challenges. One ongoing project involves installing two new 900-kilowatt turbines within an existing project in Nome. Another involves a single turbine in Bethel for use at a regional aquatic center, to offset electricity use there. The company relies heavily on barge transportation, but has developed various solutions to manage movements across rural communities where components are installed. He ticks off a list of products: towers 100 feet tall and larger, shipped in two or three sections, with blades packaged in sets of three. “Turbine components are heavy, but we have big cranes we ship that are even heavier,” he says.

Independence Isn’t Always Easy Cook Inlet Region Inc. might be the first large independent power producer

Photo courtesy of STG Incoporated

As part of a wind installation completed in Kongiganak in 2009, STG constructed an ice runway two miles outside the village to receive project materials via Hercules C-130 and Casa aircrafts, then picked up materials at the runway and transported to the installation site.

in Alaska, but Mike Craft was the first person to sell independently generated wind power back to the grid. Craft, a former real estate developer from Fairbanks, created Alaska Environmental Power in 2007 to develop a Delta wind farm. Craft wanted to stay in Alaska and saw renewable energy’s promise. He set about educating himself, built experimental turbines, and became “an expert basically on the Alaska energy market, in particular the Railbelt grid.” Craft sells a relatively small amount of power back to GVEA: just 2 megawatts. He HAD hoped to provide 25. Craft said GVEA limited his generation with a power-purchase agreement after deciding to build their own windpower project, Eva Creek. “For the last five years we’ve been fighting the utility trying to put in a 25 megawatt project that would have saved us $80 million in 20 years,” he says, basing his numbers on what he described as an extrapolation of actual production. “It was also a free wind farm. They didn’t have to borrow a dime.” GVEA officials say the utility buys all the power Craft produces. Golden Valley weighed his original 25 megawatt project but opted to build a new wind-power project. That allowed the utility the benefits of ownership and a location on the northern section of the Alaska Intertie transmission line, spokeswoman Cassandra Cerny said. “Since we’re a nonprofit coop, Eva Creek came in as a more economical project for our ratepayers.” GVEA, like CIRI, used CoBank as its primary lender, financing about $80

million of the $93 million project, according to Greg Wyman, the coop’s construction manager. Its nonprofit status gave Golden Valley access to Clean Renewable Energy Bonds and one of the Obama Administration’s stimulus packages, which reduced the cost of the bonds. “We ended up being able to borrow money at 1.1 percent,” Wyman says. “That’s how we as a nonprofit made it work.” Still, for private developers like Craft, the situation illustrates the challenges of independent power production in Alaska. Federal law exempts Alaska and Hawaii from Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regulations that allow independent power producers to develop a project and a utility to pay avoided costs. The practice encourages private investment. Craft is hoping the Legislature restores federal regulatory laws that “permit independent power producers to bring renewable energy projects onto their grids whenever they have public benefit. It stabilizes rates, makes for cleaner energy and jobs.”

Use It or Lose It The private sector is providing a valuable service as part of a unique partnership arising in western Alaska to contend with one of wind’s limits: making use of the power it generates when it comes. A group of Lower Kuskokwim villages going under the banner of the Chaninik Wind Group—Tuntutuliak, Kipnuk, Kongiganak and Kwigillingok—came together to support windpower development in partnership with Calista Corp. April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly


An STG crane, outfitted withmore than120 feetofboom, movesunder existing powerlines asit“walks” betweenindividualturbine installation sitesin Kongiganak. Photo courtesy of STG Incoporated

The total population of these Yupik communities is less than 2,000. The communities looked at high fuel costs and realized they couldn’t independently come up with a solution, says Dennis Meiners, CEO of Intelligent Energy Systems, an Anchorage wind-


Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

diesel technology firm that supports the group. Calista helped finance wind turbines in each of the communities, and the group installed excess wind capacity in each community as well, Meiners says. Any surplus power when the wind is up

goes to in-home thermal stoves that cut down heating costs. A “smart grid” system monitors energy usage. When wind speeds are low, wind penetration into the village diesel grid remains high, displacing “significant” diesel fuel for power generation, Meiners says. Modest winds generate surplus wind power that’s stored in residential electric thermal storage devices. The practice of heating homes with surplus wind energy lowers the cost of heating by half, he said. That money stops leaving the community in the form of fuel sales and instead stays in the village to stabilize the local economy in the form of local jobs and increased revenues to the utility. “That’s a concept which will grow. It’s going to make wind more affordable,” Meiners says. “Now no longer are you looking at generating just renewable energy to displace diesel fuel use for power generation. You’re looking at the whole community’s energy use.”  Zaz Hollander is a journalist living in Palmer.

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special section

Clean Energy

Photo courtesy of the City of Atka

The dam on Chuniisax CreekfortheCityofAtka’shydroelectricprojectintheAleutianIslands.

Innovative Renewable Energy Programs Making in a difference in rural Alaska ByJulieStricker


n the far rim of the Aleutian Islands, the residents of Atka are among a wave of small-scale energy pioneers in Alaska. The tiny community, which lies on a wind-swept beach and has only a few dozen residents, launched its long-planned Chuniisax Creek Hydroelectric Project in December 2012. The facility, which produces 283 kilowatts of energy, provides 100 percent of Atka’s power needs—and in fact could help power the community’s seafood processing plant. With a capital cost of $5 million, Chuniisax Creek will save the community $180,000 annually in diesel fuel costs.


Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

On the other side of the state, Tok residents had a twofold program. Major wildfires had threatened the town more than once in recent years, and it also faced escalating energy costs. The solution: install a wood chip biomass system to heat the Tok school. That proved successful enough that the system was expanded to provide electricity. Today, the community, which frequently sees winter temperatures of 50 to 60 degrees below zero, is generating more heat than it can use. It’s looking to expand its system to heat neighboring structures. These are two examples of how innovative renewable energy programs

are starting to make a difference in rural Alaska communities, which have staggeringly high energy costs several times those of urban Alaska, which are among the highest in the country. The benefits have been tremendous, says Sean Skaling, deputy director of alternative energy and energy efficiency for the Alaska Energy Authority. “The main technologies that we see that are cost-effective are wind, hydro, biomass and heat recovery projects,” Skaling says. The payoffs can be considerable, and they aren’t just in dollar savings. For instance, Delta High School in Delta Junction installed a wood

chip biomass boiler in 2011 to heat its 77,000-square-foot facility. The move was primarily an economic one. The school was burning 53,000 gallons of heating fuel, which cost about $153,000, annually. The wood-fired boiler, which uses waste chips from the nearby Dry Creek Sawmill, dramatically cut the school’s heating costs. Unlike many of the outdoor wood boilers used by residents, the biomass systems have low emissions and are highly efficient, burning the chips at an intense heat and store the heat in the water. But the savings had even greater benefits. They allowed the school to keep two teacher positions that were at risk, reopen its music program and remodel the school kitchen. “It saves them a whole bunch of money,” Skaling says. “The maintenance and school staff like it and find it easy to maintain. The money they’re using to buy fuel is staying local, supporting local jobs.”

Incubator for Alternative Energy Alaska’s rich resources and sky-high energy prices make the state an ideal

incubator for alternative energy technologies. So while high energy prices are bad news for consumers now, they could pay off in the long run, according to Chris Rose, executive director of the Renewable Energy Alaska Project. As the cost of diesel rises, ever more technologically advanced projects that even a few years ago seemed too expensive to attempt become more attractive, Rose says. “The economic reality in part relies on what your crystal ball says for diesel,” Rose says. “As diesel gets more expensive, they’re even more economically feasible.” Technologies that would only be marginally economic in the Lower 48 are economic in these communities, which are paying 60 or 80 cents per kilowatt-hour, Rose says. Technologies using geothermal and wave energy, as well as a submersible inriver generator that has been tested on the Yukon River, are all on the horizon. The State of Alaska is also looking at ways to relieve the burden in the short term. The Power Cost Equalization program provides economic assistance to

communities in an effort to bring the cost-per-kilowatt-hour to that of Anchorage and Fairbanks. In 2012, the state expected to pay out $39.4 million in PCE, rising to $40.3 million in fiscal year 2014. Even with the PCE, which covers about 77,000 Alaskans, energy is expensive in rural areas. “Heating is a much bigger deal than electricity in any of those rural communities,” Rose says. “We tend to focus on how we make electricity, but the fact is that heating is a bigger hit on people’s budgets.” Most rural Alaska communities are powered by diesel generators. With heating fuel costs ranging from $7 to more than $10 per gallon in some communities, the costs of operating these systems is high. And there are environmental considerations, too, such as leaks and emissions. “The goal in all those communities is to use as little diesel as possible,” Rose says. “At $10 a gallon, you can do the math and see it doesn’t add up.” The Alaska Energy Authority’s Power Project Fund offers low-interest loans to

April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly



upgrade or develop small-scale electric power facilities.

Energy Efficiency While most projects look to use wind, biomass or water to generate electricity, the first step for most communities is to invest in what Skaling and Rose call “the first fuel”—energy efficiency. “It’s always cheaper to save a kilowatthour than to generate it, regardless of what technology you use,” Rose says. Several villages have set up systems to capture the waste heat from their diesel generators and are using it to head adjacent buildings, such as the school. In others, the waste heat is used to warm the water in the water and sewage systems. In Emmonak, the entire village grid was retrofitted for energy efficiency. Even common devices such as motion sensors that turn lights on and off depending on whether someone’s in the room can save money. On a statewide basis, the savings can be significant. The Alaska Energy Authority’s goal is to improve efficiency 15 percent by 2020.

“It’s always cheaper to save a kilowatt-hour than to generate it, regardless of what technology you use.” —Chris Rose Executive Director, Renewable Energy Alaska Project

Rose says it costs about $642 million for electricity and heat in Alaska’s public buildings. “At even a 10 percent savings, you’re seeing real money,” he says, estimating that the state spends $20 million annually on energy that goes “up the stack and through the cracks.”

New Energy Technologies In 2010, the Alaska Emerging Energy Technology Fund was approved. It aims to bring projects online that are using new technology that can be commercially viable in five years. The first round of 16 projects was selected in 2012. They include smart grids for windgenerated energy, ultra energy-efficient diesel generators, hydrokinetic submersible pumps, and thermal shutters and doors, among others. With almost all of Alaska’s remote villages living along rivers, the hydro-

kinetic devices are generating a lot of interest. Skaling says three of the grants are to test the devices. “Studies will be looking at fish impacts and looking at a lot of base permitting concepts,” Skaling says. Issues such as blade design, impacts of debris and how long the devices can be used before freeze-up. “There’s a lot of research being done in the next couple of years for this technology, which could be cost-effectively used across Alaska.” Another program targets projects that can be put into place right away. Since 2008, 227 projects totaling $202.5 million have been approved through the Renewable Energy Fund. Half of those are wind systems, usually with a diesel backup. Wind has been a reliable source of energy in rural Alaska, with turbines sprouting up in more than a dozen com-

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Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

Photo courtesy of the City of Atka

Chuniisax Creek hydro project wentonlineinDecember2012andsuppliesalloftheelectricityusedbytheCityofAtka intheAleutianIslands.

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April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly


Alaska Electricity Prices by Community $1.00 $0.90 $0.80

$ per kWh

$0.70 $0.60 $0.50 $0.40 $0.30 $0.20 $0.10 $■ Anchorage

■ Fairbanks

■ Rest of Alaska Alaska Energy Authority

munities, including Kotzebue, Nome, Unalakleet, Savoonga and Delta Junction. Other communities have projects under study or under way. 2012 was a banner year for wind energy in Alaska, Skaling says. In 2011, wind produced 0.2 percent of Alaska’s energy. By the end of 2012, that number jumped to 2 percent, largely because of large-scale projects such as the Fire Island Wind project in Anchorage, the Pillar Mountain Wind Farm in Kodiak and the Eva Creek Wind project just outside Healy. “That’s a really significant jump,” Skaling says. “In rural Alaska it has a much bigger local impact, offsetting some of those diesel costs. We’ve gotten really dialed in on what works and what doesn’t.” Wind alone won’t power a community and diesel is still the backbone of rural energy grids, but Skaling says project designs are improving every year. Although the Renewable Energy Fund has only been in existence six years, its benefits are already apparent. While only handful of projects have gone online from the 227 approved, those operations will save about 11 million gallons of diesel fuel this year, Skaling says. By 2016, the projects are 34

Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

expected to save $45 million in energy costs annually. It’s not just the rural areas that are benefiting from new energy technologies. In January, Joint Base ElemendorfRichardson turned on the gas—methane gas from the Anchorage Municipal Solid Waste Landfill. The city has had to burn off the gas generated by decomposing trash at the landfill for years. But with electrical rates rising and a push within the Department of Defense to go green, JBER partnered with the city to turn the waste gas into electricity. The state-of-the-art power plant, built by Doyon Utilities, went online earlier this year. It will produce 5.6 megawatts of electricity, enough to handle a quarter of JBER’s energy load annually, up to 80 percent in the summer. And instead of burning off the methane at a cost of $60,000 annually, the City of Anchorage stands to make millions from the sale of its waste gas.

Southeast Solutions Ironically, some communities with established renewable energy systems are burning more diesel than before, Rose says.

“Especially in Southeast Alaska, the market forces are driving people to switch from heating oil to just buying a heater at Costco and plugging it in,” he says. “In fact, so many people are doing it, particularly in the winter, the utilities are burning more and more diesel to keep up with demand.” The efficiency of burning diesel to make electricity is 30 to 35 percent, Rose says, while the efficiency of burning diesel for heat is 80 or 85 percent. He said the whole Southeast region should be looking at biomass and creating an industry to create wood pellets used in biomass systems. Sealaska Corp. installed Alaska’s first large-scale pellet boiler at its headquarters in Juneau in 2010, while communities such as Craig and Coffman Cove also use wood-fired boilers. Southeast Alaska has renewable resources other than trees: the ocean. Surfers flock to Yakutat, population 650. The waves that draw them to the remote community are also a potent source of energy, which a New England company, Resolute Marine Energy Inc. is eyeing as a potential wave power project. The company received a permit to begin testing the project in 2012. The company plans to install wave energy converters that could produce 3,000 megawatt hours annually, or enough to power half the homes in Yakutat, at about half the cost of diesel generation. The technology is new and has only been tested off the North Carolina coast, but Yakutat, with its high energy costs would be a good testing ground, Rose says. Any wave-generated energy project is still years away, but Rose believes such emerging renewable energy technologies are the wave of the future. “The real advantage to renewable energy is it’s stably priced,” he says. “It’s also local. It’s clean. You’re not nearly as concerned about diesel spill and emissions. And it’s inexhaustible. You can optimize the equipment, but the fuel—the wind or the tides—will always be there. And it will always be free.”  Julie Stricker is a writer living near Fairbanks.

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special section

Clean Energy Kasaan Totem at Prince ofWales Island. © Don Pitcher/

Energy Efficiency T Projects

Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium Energy Efficiency Upgrades for Sanitation Facilities in Selawik Start:9/2011•End:12/2013 DOE:$702,427 Awardee:$702,427 Total: $1,404,854

Alaska Native villages procure funding to move towards self-sufficiency CompiledbyMariGallion


Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

he main objective of the project is to improve the overall energy efficiency of the water treatment/distribution and sewer collection systems in Selawik by implementing the retrofit measures identified in a previously conducted utility energy audit. One purpose for the proposed improvements is to enable the community to realize significant savings associated with the cost of energy. Another purpose of the upgrades is to repair the vacuum sewer system on the west side of Selawik to prevent future freeze-up problems during winter months. The community of Selawik’s most important and urgent energy goal is to achieve significant cost savings from the proposed installation project. The cost of fuel oil in Selawik is tremendously high, sometimes reaching over $5/gallon, which increases the costs of heating, sanitation, and electrical services for the community residents. By upgrading the existing water treatment/distribution and vacuum sewer collection systems to operate more efficiently, the proposed project will significantly reduce Selawik’s dependence on fuel oil and support the community in its quest for independence from external economic pressures. This installation project will enable Selawik to have an affordable and sustainable water and sewer system. This will

It’s Always Been.

“Handing down our stewardship of the land and sea to our children is a responsibility we all share. Harvesting one resource must do no harm to another.” — Carla Harris, Subsistence Fisher and BBNC Shareholder


enable tribal members to continue to live in their traditional lands and pursue their subsistence lifestyle. By implementing the energy efficiency measures from the previously conducted energy audit, through the scope items identified above, the community of Selawik will realize an estimated reduction in energy costs of 46 percent, or $63,680 per year. Selawik is located at the mouth of the Selawik River, about 90 miles east of Kotzebue. It lies 670 miles northwest of Anchorage. The community, which encompasses 2.5 square miles of land and 0.9 square miles of water, was developed across the Selawik River onto three banks linked by bridges. Selawik will partner with Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium for this project. ANTHC’s long-term vision includes assisting communities to upgrade their sanitation facilities to become more energy efficient, remotely monitoring energy use at the sanitation facilities, and promoting system sustainability by training local operators.

Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association - 2012 Project Feasibility of Tidal and Ocean Current Energy in False Pass, Aleutian Islands Start: 5/2012 • End: 5/2013 Department of Energy: $206,956 Awardee: $17,500 Total: $224,456


esidents of False Pass have long known the power of the water that rushes daily through Isanotski Pass. A 2009 study funded by the Alaska Energy Authority confirmed the need to study more fully the area’s potential for tidal power. To this end, and to address their fossil fuel reduction goal, many Aleut organizations, through the Aleutian Pribilof Island Association Inc., have begun collaborating to determine whether a tidal energy project could provide much-needed sustainable energy to the community of False Pass. Under this project, APIA will perform a feasibility study to determine if a tidal energy project would be a viable means to generate electricity and heat to meet these long-term fossil fuel use reduction goals, particularly to produce at least 30 percent of the electrical and 38

Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

heating needs of the tribally owned buildings in False Pass. The objectives of the feasibility study are: determine the viability of the current resource in the vicinity of False Pass for energy production, provide an economic analysis of a tidal energy project at False Pass, and provide environmental and permitting analyses identifying and documenting critical issues. This project will emphasize tidal energy resource determination. To accomplish these goals the following objectives will be achieved: collect existing bathymetric, tidal, and ocean current data at the site to develop a basic model of current circulation at False Pass; measure current velocities at a site of interest for a full lunar cycle to establish the viability of the current resource; collect data on transmission infrastructure, electrical loads, and electrical generation at False Pass; perform economic analysis based on current cost of energy and amount of energy anticipated from and costs associated with the tidal energy project conceptual design; and consult with agencies and perform literature review to scope permitting process and identify key environmental issues.

Native Village of Port Graham Port Graham Community Building Biomass Heating Design Project Start: 6/2012 • End: 12/2014 DOE: $127,640 Awardee: $182,306 Total: $309,946


ort Graham Village will conduct preconstruction activities that will result in a construction-ready biomass heating system. When operational, this biomass system will provide heat to five community buildings, reducing diesel consumption by 9,600 gallons annually. Under this project, the following will be completed: final preliminary design drawings, bid documents, permits and fuel source agreements for a fully functioning biomass heat distribution system under remote Alaska conditions. Once constructed, the biomass heating system will provide hot water to heat five Port Graham community buildings. The existing diesel-fired hot water heating equipment will be retained and used for backup. All but one are wood

structures with metal roofs and are either on wood, concrete, or concrete block foundations. These buildings are currently heated with diesel-fired, hotwater baseboard systems. The proposed biomass system displaces 80 to 85 percent of the diesel to heat these community buildings. The Port Graham community buildings that will be heated by this system include the old water plant building, which will be converted to and called the boiler building; Port Graham Health and Dental Clinic; Port Graham Village Council Office; Port Graham Corporation Office Building, which also houses the Port Graham Museum and Head Start Center; and Port Graham Public Safety Building. Port Graham Village is predominately Alutiiq heritage, and approximately 85 percent of the residents are Alaska Native, residing in the Native Village of Port Graham overlooking Cook Inlet in Southcentral Alaska and located at the southern tip of the Kenai Peninsula on the lower Cook Inlet. Accessible by water or air, Port Graham is 30 air miles south of Homer and 200 air miles from Anchorage. The community of 140 persons has a school, a tribal council building, a clinic, two stores, a cannery and an Alaska Native Corporation office.

Organized Village of Kasaan Developing the Organized Village of Kasaan’s Tribal Energy Plan Start: 9/2011 • End: 12/2012 DOE: $77,258 Awardee: $10,498 Total: $87,756


he goal of this project is to create a Tribal Energy Action Plan that will serve as the tribe’s blueprint for creating long-term energy self-sufficiency. The plan will include defined comprehensive energy strategies and will be built upon a baseline assessment of where the tribe currently is in terms of alternative and renewable energy activities, a vision of where the tribe wants to go, and an action plan of how the tribe will fulfill its vision, including the identification of viable energy options based on the long-term strategic plan of the tribe. The specific objectives are to develop a Kasaan renewable energy network, build

tribal capacity and expertise in the areas of alternative energy generation and reducing energy consumption, develop a tribal energy action plan. The first and second objectives are designed to generate the local data on relevant technologies, build local expertise and capacity, and obtain the stakeholder buy-in that will be needed to complete a Tribal Energy Action Plan, and then move forward with the next phase of completing a comprehensive analysis and feasibility study of local energy options. The community of Kasaan is a small, isolated Native village located on Kasaan Bay of Prince of Wales Island, in southern Southeast Alaska. Stunning in its natural beauty, and rich in culture and tradition, Kasaan is the oldest Haida village in the United States, and one of only two Haida communities that remain intact in Alaska. The residents of Kasaan face a number of challenges in addressing the economic, social and cultural needs of the children and families living in the community. Kasaan’s remote location presents significant challenges for providing basic goods and services, including affordable and available energy. Currently in the village of Kasaan, there are no grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants/cafés, retailers, tourism vendors or construction companies. Part of the reason for this lack of local infrastructure is that the high cost of electricity and heating fuel prohibits small business operators from being able to make a living. The Organized Village of Kasaan has a long-range vision of being economically and culturally self-sustaining. In the past few years, the tribe has been developing several local sustainable projects, including: a community garden, a new energy efficient medical clinic, multi-year studies of fish stock in traditional subsistence streams, and cultural and eco-tourism development. The creation of a Tribal Energy Action Plan that focuses on developing local renewable energy opportunities is a key part of helping the tribe move toward cultural, social, and economic self-sufficiency in an integrated and sustainable way. 



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April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly


special section

Clean Energy

Geothermal Meltdown Photo by U.S. Coast Guard

Fishing boats tie up atoneofthemajorsalmonprocessingplantsatNaknek,onBristolBay.Theprocessingplantsarethe largestcommercialcustomersforNaknekElectricAssociation,andtheutilityhopesitwon’tlosethemasaconsequence ofitsbankruptcy.

Alternative energy project pushes Southwest Alaska electric co-op into bankruptcy ByWesleyLoy


n Aug. 16, 2009, a small Southwest Alaska electric cooperative began drilling an exploratory geothermal well. It seemed like a smart idea at the time, one born out of near desperation. Like so many rural electric utilities across the state, Naknek Electric Association depended on shipments of diesel to run its generators. The cost of fuel was skyrocketing, and the co-op’s residential power load was eroding as people migrated out of the region due to the high cost of living. The hope was that a geothermal energy source might provide a cheaper alternative to diesel. The co-op could generate electricity with hot water from deep underground. The geothermal prospects looked good, as the boundary of the volcanic Katmai National Park and Preserve was just east of the co-op’s service area. 40

Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

But problems soon developed. The drilling of the well, known as G-1, experienced a slew of technical problems. Costs escalated. Funding fell through. Finally, on Sept. 29, 2010, Naknek Electric filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from creditors. Recently, the co-op proposed a reorganization plan that includes rate increases to pay unsecured creditors about $20 million over 20 years. It’s a painful outcome, and a lesson on the potential pitfalls of pursing renewable energy projects in the remote outback of Alaska. While rural villages certainly need alternatives to imported fossil fuels, and while ideas such as geothermal, tidal and wind energy hold great appeal, the risks of pursing these options are real. “I can see why communities take chances on alternatives,” says Chris Rose, execu-

tive director of the nonprofit Renewable Energy Alaska Project. He hopes people don’t take the Naknek Electric experience as a strike against geothermal—or alternative energy in general. The co-op’s stab at geothermal was, in the words of its bankruptcy attorney, an “incredible, ballsy leap of faith.” It went after the project full-bore, and wasn’t alone in its optimism. The U.S. Department of Energy conditionally awarded $12.4 million to Naknek Electric for a geothermal “demonstration project.” The co-op acquired a 120-acre Native allotment a few miles east of the village of King Salmon and built a road to the site. Rather than hire a contractor, the coop took out a loan to buy its own drilling rig for $8.5 million. It spent another $3 million on improvements and barged the rig up from Washington state.

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Naknek k







South Naknek


NEA 120 Acre Parcel



Dillingham King Salmon




King Salmon








NAD 83, Alaska State Plane Zone 06


Naknek N










NEA 120 Acre Parcel

Homer Dillingham

King Salmon



MAP: U.S. Department of Energy

South Naknek

Naknek Electric Association LOCATION MAP Naknek Electric Association Environmental Assessment

King Salmon Egegik Kodiak

SCALE: NAD 83, Alaska State Plane Zone 06








AES-RTS: 10-004B-001.mxd, 05/05/10, R00

The co-op’s vision was to drill multiThe co-op’s problems only worsened ple wells to support a 25-megawatt geo- from there. thermal generation plant “The well refused to flow under its own Homerand 450 miles Town Road ofDillingham transmission lines to bring electric pressure,” said a disclosure statement Kingto Salmon power 25 villages across the region. filed as part of the bankruptcy case. Egegik Escalating diesel prices stoked the The problem was the type of drilling Kodiak co-op’s geothermal fire. The price of mud used, which effectively clogged delivered diesel had spiked from $1.20 well06 and prevented crucial testing NAD 83, Alaska Statethe Plane Zone to more than $4 a gallon between 2005 to determine the strength of the geoand 2008. thermal resource. The project was ambitious for a The co-op borrowed $1.5 million to company the size of Naknek Electric. buy powerful air compressors to try to The nonprofit co-op began distrib- clean out the well. It didn’t work. uting electricity in 1960, and serves By this time, the co-op had already 700 members and 1,100 meters in the filed for bankruptcy as vendor liens and vicinity of two villages, Naknek and collection lawsuits started stacking up. King Salmon. As of the bankruptcy fi ling date, Among its biggest customers are the Naknek Electric had incurred about plants that process millions of salmon $40 million in debt that was “in one netted commercially in Bristol Bay each way or another associated with the summer. The co-op also has a wholesale geothermal project,” the disclosure customer in the U.S. Air Force, which statement said. has a deactivated air station in “warm” Still, the co-op tried to keep the projstatus at King Salmon. ect alive. At one point, in early 2012, Even before the drill bit started turn- Naknek Electric representatives testiing, costly complications began to plague fied before the Alaska Legislature in the geothermal exploration effort. hopes of obtaining millions of dollars The state told Naknek Electric the to complete the troublesome well. G-1 well would be regulated as an oil Ultimately, the co-op couldn’t seand gas well, not a water well. This cure financing. And the millions in meant the co-op would need to em- federal and state grants it had counted ploy added safety measures such as a on at the project’s outset largely never robust blowout preventer and heavier came through. drilling muds. Baker Hughes, a major oilfield serAt 11,218 feet down, a drill bit broke. vices firm and one of Naknek Electric’s To go deeper, drillers were forced to creditors, acquired the drilling rig at an bore an offshoot known as a sidetrack. Oct. 2, 2012, foreclosure sale.

As of March 1, the rig remained on the geothermal drilling site. The co-op, with Baker’sNaknek help, plans to use Association the rig to plug Electric and abandon the G-1 well in the spring. LOCATION MAPthe co-op It’s been a Naknek tough story for Electric Association and its members, who came within a “a Environmental Assessment SCALE: FIGURE: hairsbreadth” of proving a geothermal 0 1 2 4 energy source, said Erik Miles LeRoy, 1.0-1 bankruptcy attorney for Naknek Electric. Indeed, a professional assessment said the G-1 well had found a geothermal reservoir marginally hot enough for electricity generation. And that a second, deeper well potentially could find an even hotter zone. Going forward, Naknek Electric will continue to operate using its dieselfired generators. The failed geothermal project is going to cost members for a long time. The coop’s proposed bankruptcy reorganization plan includes a gradual rate increase of 7 cents per kilowatt hour to make the 20 years of debt payments. Since 2009, when rates went up 9 cents to help offset costs of the geothermal well, the residential base rate has been 27 cents per kilowatt hour. The plan, subject to creditor and court approval, holds considerable risk. The co-op worries that higher rates could prompt its biggest commercial customers, the fish processors, to start generating their own power. 

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Journalist Wesley Loy lives in Anchorage. April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly


Clean Energy

Photo courtesy of Karen Peterson, University of Alaska Cooperative Extension Service

special section

Installation of a pellet andcordwoodboilersystemataresidenceinThorneBay.

Harnessing the energy of tides, waves and waste ByMariGallion


hen asked to come up with a source of renewable energy, most Alaskans naturally think of sources that can be used on a smaller scale; something that they can use to power their own homes and feed energy back into the grid, or to power a cluster of homes. Solar power or wind power are popular options based on their relative accessibility for residential use. When considering the viability of these energy sources, it seems there are often arguments as to why they can or can-


Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

not be put to practical use in Alaska (not enough sun for solar to be used year-round), or whatever area may be experiencing an energy crisis (cost of installing turbines, not enough wind, regulatory setbacks). However, there are a few types of renewable and clean energy today that can boast consistent returns based on sources that are plentiful in Alaska: waste (biomass), tides and waves; and several Alaska and national companies are rising—or have already risen—to the challenge of harnessing this energy

in a way that benefits both communities and the environment in which they live.

What the Heck is Biomass? Many Alaskans are confused about what—exactly—biomass is. According to Bob Deering, biomass roadmap coordinator for the Tongass National Forest, USDA Forest Service, “When we talk about biomass, it’s easy to get confused by imprecise terminology. Biomass itself has a broad definition, and practically anything derived sustainably from living matter, such as fish waste,

Photo courtesy of Karen Peterson, University of Alaska Cooperative Extension Service

ipal solid waste, sewage sludge, grasses and agricultural residue, counts.” In Alaska, “we’re primarily talking about woody biomass—the stuff derived from trees,” Deering says. “Burning wood isn’t really rocket science,” Deering says. “Pretty much every Alaskan has built more than one over-sized campfire. But burning wood cleanly and efficiently…that can get a little more technical. A lot of sophisticated engineering has gone into the science of burning wood.” Naturally, many Alaskans are familiar with the medium of cordwood. Wood chips, the next level of refinement, are predominantly used by larger commercial and industrial operations because this medium requires robust fuel storage and handling systems, and a tolerance for inconsistent fuel size and quality. But the crème de la crème of wood fuel is wood pellets. “Pellets are made from ground up wood and sawdust, extruded out of a mill die at very precise specifications,” Deering says. “Pellets tend to ‘flow’ much more easily than chips so fuel handling is greatly simplified, and their consistent physical properties allow for tight engineering tolerances. “This yields high efficiencies, low emissions and reliable and simple operations,” Deering says. “Pellet appliances also span a wide scale from very large commercial boilers to small residential unit heaters. Because pellets are a densified fuel, they can be cost-effectively transported long distances.” Although some question whether woody biomass can truly be considered a source of “clean” energy, according to Deering, woody biomass in its many forms is a practical solution, especially for Southeast Alaska, for many reasons. After all, when one considers the environmental impact of transportation of fuel sources, woody biomass seems to be the clear winner. “The trees are located close to where we need the energy, and we can utilize it directly without having to ship it to far-away refineries, only to ship it all the way back from those far-away refineries,” Deering says. “The fuel can be harvested and processed by small, local businesses, creating local jobs and keeping money in the local economies. For these very reasons, the Forest Ser-

A worker demonstrates the simpleprocessofloadingaGarncordwoodboiler atThorneBayElementarySchool.

vice is developing a strategy for incorporating biomass energy into the forest management plans for Alaska.” “Conversion of Alaskan facilities from fuel oil to biomass heating has been accelerating rapidly over the past few years,” Deering adds, “as the price of heating oil has skyrocketed and facility owners have become more familiar with biomass heating systems. Southeast has been no exception—three years ago there was one commercialscale biomass system in place in the region, today there are eleven, with many more in the pipeline.” And where in the state, besides Southeast, can biomass be used economically? “Generally speaking, biomass is an economical fuel replacement anywhere that natural gas is unavailable,” Deer-

ing says. “Communities that are relying on expensive heating oil to meet thermal needs are excellent candidates for biomass. Pretty much any residential or commercial facility that’s using oil heat is a candidate for biomass conversion— there are few technical reasons why it would not be possible.”

Elementary School Thorne Bay Elementary school in Prince of Wales Island was converted from oil to a cordwood system just this year. The school now has two Garn WHS-2000 325,000 Btu cordwood boiler systems, along with an accompanying greenhouse. Construction for this project began in fall of 2012, and included clearing of the land for the boiler, the leveling of the site, and then the installation of the buried,

April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly


Photo Karen Peterson, University of Alaska Cooperative Extension Service

Thorne Bay Elementary School, siteofthenewGarncordwoodboilersystem.

preinsulated PEX piping to the two separate heat systems in the school—one in the main building, and one in the gym. “The pre-fabricated boiler packages arrived in September and were brought to the site via a tractor trailer truck,” Deering says. “Next the wood storage structure was built, with the foundation also poured for the adjacent greenhouse, which will also be heated by the boilers. The green house components are onsite, but it is not yet assembled.” And there will unfortunately be some lag time before the system is put to use. “These boilers were tested and commissioned the day after Thanksgiving 2012, but won’t be put into service until next year because the wood storage wasn’t completed until this fall,” Deering says. “Wood in Southeast has high moisture content, and trying to burn ‘green’ wood leads to poor efficiency and boiler maintenance and air emission problems, so the school district has opted to let their fuel supply air dry for a year.” However, once put to use, Deering feels these boilers will be an ideal system for the school. “The Garn boilers are large cordwood boilers with integrated thermal hot water storage,” Deering says. “They’ve proven to be very efficient, durable, and low-emission systems for rural Alaska facilities. They’re also robust, substantial pieces of steel, which means they’re heavy. This can prove to be a challenge in villages where there may not be a crane or forklift large enough to move the unit. So for the Thorne Bay project 44

Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

the Garn manufacturer, Dektra Corp., mounted their unit onto a skid suitable to be hooked up to a bulldozer or trackhoe and dragged into place. It turned out that Thorne Bay had a forklift big enough to lift the unit when it arrived, but the additional system engineering and fabrication caused some project delay. On the positive side, the skid design is now ready for the next Alaskan remote project.” The Thorne Bay Elementary boilers will utilize about 200 cords of firewood during a heating season, displacing more than 20,000 gallons of heating oil at $5 per gallon. At a cost of $200 per cord, this system is in effect providing heat at an equivalent cost of oil at $2 per gallon, saving the school more than $60,000 per year. These savings are funding school trips, equipment and a special education teacher, as well as trickling down to the general fund.

Senior Center Another recently completed project is the Borough of Haines Senior Center, which was converted from oil to a single marine Energy System PES56 191,000 Btu wood pellet boiler system. “The Haines Senior Center boiler will consume about 14 tons of pellets annually, displacing 1,700 gallons of heating oil per year,” Deering says. “Haines is projecting that they will save over $100,000 over the next 20 years. The Senior Center provides discounted meals to the community’s senior citizen population, so the savings are significant because they will

allow the expansion of the meals program to some of the most vulnerable citizens.” The Haines project was on a much faster track than the Thorne Bay School. “Design began last August and installation was completed in October. That project included enlarging and reconfiguring the mechanical room and also required installing a 15 ton pellet fuel silo adjacent to the building. The longest single lead-time portion of the project was the shipping of the boiler system from the East Coast.” “The Haines project has gone off, from a construction perspective, pretty much flawlessly,” Deering says. “The Borough is exceptionally pleased with the system so far. The biggest challenge has been fuel supply—this is the first bulk wood pellet system in Haines so the infrastructure is not yet in place for handling and delivery of the pellets to the Senior Center’s silo. The first filling of the silo required ferrying a delivery truck up from Juneau. This time they’re looking at using one-ton super sacks and a forklift. As more pellet systems are installed in the area, the supporting infrastructure will come online to service them.”

Residential Use There was also a recent installation of a pellet and cordwood boiler system in a new high-end residence in Thorne Bay on Prince of Wales Island. The Thorne Bay residence will use about 120 pounds of pellets, at a cost of roughly $20 per day during the heating season once their entire complex is online and connected to the boiler. “The Thorne Bay residence construction began back in 2010,” Deering says. “The house was finally completed in November 2012. Additional planned construction includes a snowmelt system, a greenhouse, an outdoor hot tub, and a koi pond—all heated off of the pellet boiler.” “The Thorne Bay residence boiler system itself worked flawlessly,” Deering says, despite there being a few unexpected challenges encountered during construction. “The water system required nearly 1,000 gallons of thermal storage, but the house’s rain catchment system (it’s off of the city water system) had not been in place long enough to accumulate that much water, so water had to be trucked in.


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A garn pellet and cordwood boiler system.

“The location of the boiler was changed after construction had commenced due to a code conflict with an electrical panel, which led to a suboptimal fuel handling situation. And pellet fuel handling has proven to be a larger chore than anticipated, with no bulk handling suppliers yet operating in Thorne Bay. The owners figure that they’re young enough to handle the physical work for now, but need to figure out a better system over the next 20 years for their golden years.” Despite the ups and downs of converting to biomass systems, Deering is still sanguine about the future of these



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Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

projects, attributing the mishaps to valuable learning experiences. “The single largest challenge is that the modern biomass industry in Alaska is in its infancy,” Deering says. “We currently lack the production and logistics infrastructure needed to supply the major market transformation that’s coming. Because the demand for biomass fuel is still relatively low, we have not seen the necessary investments in pellet mills, pellet fuel barges, bulk storage facilities, pellet delivery trucks, and the other associated infrastructure, but those assets will be coming online rapidly. The price trends for oil are sobering, and biomass offers a here and now solution with far more attractive economics. Facility owners are smart consumers and will be making the obvious choice toward biomass in increasing numbers.”

One City’s Trash Biomass Makes Gas One recently completed biomass project of note made use of organic waste material in the landfill, affectively converting one city’s trash into usable gas to power the military base: The Anchorage Landfill Methane Gas Project. The Anchorage Landfill project was a cooperative effort between the military, the Municipality of Anchorage and Doyon Utilities; and was built mostly by an Anchorage firm called Electric Power Systems. According to Bob Zacharski, site manager for Doyon Utilities, the idea for the project was born in Summer of 2010, construction started in September of 2011, and it was up and running by September of 2012. According to Zacharski, the power generation system supplies up to 50 percent of the energy requirement of the part of the Fort Richardson side of what is now known as Joint Base ElmendorfRichardson—but that number will vary somewhat, depending on the season. An additional environmental benefit to this project that makes use of the organic waste in the landfill is that it also makes use of methane gas which, as mandated by the EPA, would have to be flared off if not used otherwise to prevent it from becoming a greenhouse gas. Furthermore, the Army is now required to produce a portion of green energy on base. “We met their requirement with this,” Zacharski says.

© Ocean Renewable Power Co.

Zacharski has a unique way of explaining the landfill’s methane gas production to the layman: “It all starts with the little bugs in the landfill,” Zacharski says. “So they chomp around and eat the biodegradable material—vegetables, meats, cardboard…whatever goes in there… and the byproduct of them chomping around is methane gas. “So this methane gas is generated throughout the entire landfill,” he continues, “and the city collects it through a series—a substantial number—of pipes that run just under the ground. We put a vacuum on the landfill gas field and we pull the gas through those pipes to what’s called a gas skid, and there we take out a lot of the moisture and all the impurities that would cause a hiccup in the engines. Then we take the cleaned up gas and throw it into a mile-long pipeline to the generators, and then the gas is burned just like natural gas, in reciprocal engines, and produces electricity.” The project required that a number of components be built: the generation plant, which sits on Fort Richardson land; the gas cleaning skid which sits on the landfill land; and the pipeline that brings the gas from one site to the other. The project, although a success, was not without its challenges: “We did borings underneath the plant,” Zacharski says, “and thought we’d have to go down about 10 or 12 feet to get to stable soil. Well, it turns out the borings had hit an old road bed and had given us some false readings—and actually in some parts of the project site we had to go down 37 feet until we found stable soil, so that slowed us down for a while.” However, the setbacks aren’t enough to cloud the sunshine surrounding what Zacharski refers to as a triple-win situation: “We’re taking an energy source that was wasted and using that to power our engines,” Zacharski says, “so it’s a win for the Muni because they get to sell what used to be a waste product—it’s a win for Doyon Utilities because obviously we are a for-profit organization, and it’s a win for the base because they have to produce a certain percentage of green energy on each base.” When it comes to the fast turnaround from concept to completion, Zacharski stresses the cooperation of the three parties involved. “Between Doyon Utilities

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and the Municipality and the military, all three parties were needed to make this a good project. If one had backed out, the whole project would have collapsed. It was a good example of a number of parties contributing for a common goal.”

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Big Dreams Ocean Renewable Power Co. has two projects they are currently working on. The larger of which—the Cook Inlet Tidal Energy Project—will, according to their website, “eventually create an expansive tidal power system that will deliver a nearly constant supply of clean, reliable, economic renewable power to utilities from Fairbanks to the Kenai Peninsula. “At this site, ORPC is collaborating with the Homer Electric Association on a smaller pilot project that will bring tidal power to the Homer Electric grid while creating high-quality, sustainable jobs on the Kenai Peninsula. This pilot project could ultimately produce up to 5 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 2,300 Kenai Peninsula homes.” ORPC plans to have their turbine in the water at their East Foreland site, near the town of Nikiski, for testing by summer of 2014. “We’d like to see that operate for a couple of years so we can fully understand the operating expenses and the environment of the inlet,” says Doug Johnson, director of business development. ORPC is no stranger to the tidal energy business—it has been developing breakthrough technology and ecoconscious projects that use ocean and river currents to generate energy since 2004. ORPC’s Maine Tidal Energy project has brought more than $8 million to the state economy, and has created or helped retain more than 100 jobs in 13 Maine counties. For this project, ORPC began getting regulatory approval in 2006, tested their system in the water in 2008 and—following Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval—installed a commercial TidGen Power System (similar to the one that will be used in Alaska) in 2012. After running this system for a year, ORPC plans to install additional power systems over the following three years to increase the project’s output to power 1,200 Maine homes and businesses with clean tidal energy.

© Ocean Renewable Power Co.

ORPC’s RivGen Power System is designed for on-site assembly and easy installation.

Despite ORPC’s current success in Maine, Alaska provides some design challenges that are as unique as the state’s 6,640 miles of coastline that may one day be put to use powering coastal communities. “We’ve got well over 1,000 hours of operating time in the one in Maine, but Alaska is very different. We’ve got silty water. Towards Nikiski it’s not so much as it is up here in north Cook Inlet, so we’re addressing that right now by working with University of Alaska— we have a flume operating that has our bearings and seals that are being tested with the silt to see how they wear. That’s actually happening right now.” “The other question,” Johnson continues, “is the interaction with the Beluga whale. We’ve spent a tremendous amount of money—more than $1 million now total—really understanding the environment.” ORPC abandoned a test project near Fire Island partially because the site proved to be favored by the whales as well as the ocean currents. “We’ll be collecting that data now (for the East Foreland site),” Johnson says. “But now that we’re further down the Inlet, it’s likely that we won’t have a problem. There’s plenty of room for the beluga whales, they are a very intelligent animal, and we think they will notice that the device is there and just swim around it.” Nikiski has proven to be a perfect place to test the device for other reasons as well. “Because of all the oil and gas work that’s been done down there for years now, we’ve got shops, people who know how to work with big things, there’s lots of marine infrastructure for deploying, so it turned out to be a really good place for us to do our first work.”

While ORPC plans to connect to the grid and supply power to Nikiski within the next two years, manifesting their dream to significantly impact the energy needs of towns from Fairbanks to the Kenai Peninsula is expected to span roughly 20 years. ORPC not only hopes to impact Alaska through its energy, but also through the economic ecosystem associated with building and installing their systems. “We don’t have the capacity in Alaska to make the raw materials,” Johnsons says, “but we can do much of the metal fabrication: the frames they sit on, and of course the deployment. This will bring jobs and employment.” What kind of jobs? ORPC will need people with a background in marine science for site identification and characterization, electricians for the development phase, fabrication workers, welders, machinists, assemblers, crane operators, deck hands for barges and tugs, and then people who are specially trained to do regular maintenance on the devices every year and intensive maintenance every five years.

Almost a Reality This summer ORPC is bringing their RivGen system—a system that will be going to Igiagik to its permanent home in 2014—to Nikiski for testing in a virtual river environment. “It’s a much more aggressive time line,” Johnson says. “And the Alaska Energy Authority has been a really great working partner: We won an award through the Emerging Technology Fund—we’ve got $1.5 million to deploy this device in Igiagik.” The device of which he speaks is, according to the ORPC website, “a power system that generates electricity at small river April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly


sites, particularly in remote communities with no large, centralized power grid. Currently, many of these communities rely on local power distribution grids connected to diesel generators, which leave a huge carbon footprint and are growing increasingly expensive to fuel and operate. The RivGen Power System is designed to connect directly into these existing diesel-electric grids, and to provide automatic fuel-switching so that whenever the RivGen Power System is generating power, the diesel generator automatically turns down or off.” Furthermore, the system components are designed to fit into standard shipping containers, and arrive ready to install. The system will be placed in the Kvichak river, which is fed by Lake Illiamna, and will help power the community of Igiagik. There are several reasons why the site in Igiagik is an ideal place to install ORPC’s first RivGen system in Alaska: The river does not freeze, so the system can run year-round. Also, the water in the Kvichak river is clear—studying how the marine life interact with the unit

in most cases will simply be a matter of eyeballing it and taking notes rather than investing in expensive and highly technical testing equipment and staff. Finally, such systems are only currently economical in areas where the cost of energy is very high. At this early state in the unit’s commercialization, the energy needs to be sold at about $0.21 per Kilowatt hour in order to be economical. “I think they’re paying about $0.70 a kWh in Igiagik, which allows us to bring the device in its early stages of commercialization and still make money.” The people at ORPC are banking on the cost of producing their energy going down like it has in other clean energy types such as solar and wind. “We have to work on some sort of incentive to get this energy in and get it going while we drive the cost curve down. We’d like to see our energy by 2020 be the same cost as any other new generation that goes in, whether it’s natural gas, hydro, solar or wind.” As for now, they are quickly moving forward in a very big way. “The device is being worked on and retrofitted right now,” Johnsons says. “It’ll be ready to

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come to Alaska this summer, tested in Nikiski in the virtual river environment, and next summer will go to Igiagik.” “The United States Geological Survey says that 3 percent of the nations’ energy could come from the rivers,” Johnsons says. “That doesn’t sound like a lot, but that’s a big contribution.” Happily, ORPC is on the leading edge of seeing that happen.

New Wave Technology Resolute Marine Energy out of Boston, Mass. recently acquired approval from the FERC for the Yakutat Alaska Wave Energy Project, which—although there are still several permits yet to acquire— marks the official start of the Project. According to the RME website, “According to the Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) division of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), approximately 40% of the world’s population lives within 100 kilometers of the coast and population density is expected to increase markedly over the next several decades in response to climate change effects. “Waves have an energy density over 800x higher than wind which means


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Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

that, in theory, much more energy can be extracted from a given area and wave energy has additional benefits related to its predictability (accurate localized estimates of wave conditions can be made days in advance), consistency (less dramatic short-term variations in energy flux) and low visual impact.” Founder and chief executive officer Bill Staby says RME plans to have a wave generator in the water within 18 to 24 months. Although RME has conducted ocean trials at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers field research facility in Duck, N.C., with the same kind of wave energy converter that will be used in Yakutat, this will be the first commercial electricity generation project. “We were generating electricity at Duck, but we weren’t hooked up to the grid or anything,” Staby says. And despite the aggressive time line, there is much to do before Yakutat will be powered by wave energy. “We are conducting technical studies that consider the design requirements for the project itself: We essentially located an area off the coast of Yakutat, and somewhere within that box we will be placing

our wave energy generators. But now we have to decide where within that box they will go. … What is the composition of the bottom? Does the bottom move around from season to season? If so, from where to where? What are the coastal processes there—what are the currents?” There is also a seasonal variation to consider: In the wintertime, there is more wave energy than there is in the summertime. “We need to understand what those variations are so that we can design a whole plan of what will be most efficient for the whole location,” Staby says. “We will be making certain modifications in design,” Staby says, despite having settled on the basic design of the wave energy converter long ago, of which RME deploys variations more suited to the individual sites. In the case of Alaska waters, tidal range and silt are two things to contend with. “In our previous tests in North Carolina, we found that any sediment, whatever is in the water, will try to invade,” Staby says. “So you have to develop strategies to combat that.” At this stage in the project’s development, the work involved is pretty techni-

cal: conducting surveys, setting up tests and monitoring data. Staby anticipates being able to hire many Yakutat locals for the less technical parts of the testing stage, counting whales, for example. “It’s those kind of studies that the resource agencies often require,” Staby says. “But we’ll see. But we can use anybody in Yakutat: high school students, or anyone who is available to do that work.” As the project moves into the deployment and commissioning stage, RME will be needing marine assets of various kinds, including divers and vessels. After tying into the grid, the project will be needing people who are experienced with power engineering, grid interconnections, linemen to string electrical cable, electricians, civil engineers to design the on-shore portion of the system. “It’s quite a range of highly technical and scientific types of things right down to the nitty gritty construction,” Staby says.  Mari Gallion is Associate Editor at Alaska Business Monthly.

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April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly


special section

Clean Energy

Financing Clean Energy in Alaska Photo courtesy of CIRI / Oscar Avellaneda-Cruz

Fire Island Wind LLC constructed 11 turbines that started commercial operation in September 2012. The turbines are located on an island just off shores of Anchorage.

Lender profiles and new projects By Tracy Barbour

Alaska Housing Finance Corporation A self-supporting public corporation with offices in 16 communities statewide, AHFC focuses on giving Alaskans access to safe, quality and affordable housing. AHFC is commonly associ52

Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

Photo courtesy of CIRI / Oscar Avellaneda-Cruz


ith worldwide interest in clean energy continually increasing, Alaskans are using a variety of financial resources to improve energy efficiency and generate eco-friendly power. Clean energy is often referred to as green or renewable energy. It includes solar, wind, water and other sources that can be harnessed with little or no pollution. Principal clean energy funding sources within the state include the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, Denali Commission and Alaska Energy Authority. These agencies often work together to provide loans, grants, rebates and other programs that help businesses, communities and homeowners overcome the financial challenges of implementing clean energy projects.

Crews use a crane to lift a turbine hub with blades attached into position atop a turbine tower on July 10. The wind turbines have a 262-foot-hub height with three 131-foot blades. All 11 turbines have been constructed and started commercial operation in September 2012.

ated with financing home loans, but it also funds weatherization and energyefficiency programs. When it comes to energy efficiency, AHFC is all about reducing how much energy people consume in public buildings, homes and other facilities, according to Jimmy Ord of AHFC’s Research and Rural Development Department. Conserving energy, he says, equates to

fewer potentially harmful carbon dioxide emissions—which, in turn, promotes cleaner energy. AHFC primarily finances energyefficiency projects through loans and grants. For example, it offers an Alaska Energy Efficiency Revolving Loan Fund Program for public facilities. The program provides financing for permanent energy-efficient improvements to

ings owned by regional educational attendance areas, the University of Alaska, the state or municipalities in the state. Borrowers must obtain an investment grade audit as the basis for making cost effective energy improvements. To stimulate the loan program, AHFC paid for 327 audits in communities from Southeast Alaska to the North Slope. The audits, conducted between 2010 and 2012, were made available by American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds. “Now it’s up to audit recipients as to how they want to finance their improvement project,” Ord says. Individuals can take advantage of the AHFC’s Home Energy Rebate Program, New Home Rebate Program and Weatherization Assistance Program. With the Home Energy Rebate Program, homeowners can receive up to $10,000 for making energy-efficient improvements. New Home Rebate Program participants can get a $7,500 rebate on eligible home purchases. In both cases, homeowners are reimbursed for qualified expenses. “We issue them a check and a 1099-G,” Ord says. Anyone can use the rebate programs to build, buy or retrofit energy-efficient

housing in Alaska. However, only lowand middle-income residents can take part in AHFC’s Weatherization Assistance Program. The statewide program, managed by Rural Alaska Community Action Program Inc. (RurAL CAP) focuses on enhancing the energy efficiency, safety, comfort and life expectancy of housing. Typical improvements include caulking/sealing windows and doors; adding insulation to walls, floors and ceilings; and improving the efficiency of heating systems. Weatherization is a significant component of clean energy, according to RurAL CAP Director of Weatherization Kenton Banks. “It cuts energy usage,” he says. “Reduction of utility usage is immediate and ongoing for the lifetime of the home. On average, we cut utility usage of a home by 30 percent.” The energy savings can make a huge difference, especially in rural communities with $9-per-gallon heating fuel prices. Plus, the program trains and employs local labor, which contributes to the economy. Last year, the Weatherization Assistance Program received $13.5 million in

AHFC funding and upgraded 500 homes in Anchorage, 100 homes in Juneau and 230 homes in rural Alaska. The costs for the weatherization projects average $11,000 for each home in Anchorage and Juneau and $30,000 for those in rural areas. Why such a cost difference? Freight is a major factor, and homes in remote areas often need more extensive measures. “Because of the weather, winds, driving snow and rain, rural homes often have more wear and tear and require more work,” Banks explains.

Denali Commission The Denali Commission is an independent federal agency that concentrates on developing safe and reliable energy infrastructure in Alaska. Its legacy Energy Program began primarily funding bulk fuel storage tank facilities and upgrading power plants in rural Alaska. As the program grew, the Anchorage based agency also began funding renewable energy projects. Energy plays a critical role in the quality of life and economic development of Alaska communities. Energy costs have risen threefold in 10 years, according to

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promote the expansion of energy sources. More than a dozen projects requesting nearly $8.5 million in grants funds and committing $2.6 million in matching funds have been chosen for awards. The selected projects represent a variety of technologies, including diesel efficiency, energy storage and river hydrokinetics. Jimmy Ord AHFC Research and Rural Development Department

Kent Banks Director of Weatherization RurAL CAP

Denali Commission Federal Co-Chair Joel Neimeyer. He adds that almost 50 percent of the total household income of lowerincome residents goes to pay for heat, electricity and other utilities. This makes the commission’s work vital—especially in Alaska’s remote areas. “Without heat and electricity in rural Alaska, the community goes away,” Neimeyer says. The Denali Commission works mainly with the AEA and Alaska Village Electric Cooperative to provide funding for bulk-fuel storage, community power generation, transmission and distribution systems, energy efficiency initiatives, and alternative and renewable energy projects. “The magic of the commission is we can bring together a number of players to address a particular problem,” Neimeyer says. He points out that energy projects must be based on the local situation. For example, a dam is a relatively easy alternative for a community with a suitable water supply. Wind turbines could be an option for areas with ample wind. Although federal cutbacks have left the commission with less money to fund energy projects, Neimeyer is committed to addressing the inefficiency of energy systems. “Half of the issue could be technology. The other half could be behavioral changes (such as turning down the systems over the weekend),” he says.

Alaska Energy Authority Alaska Energy Authority concentrates on reducing the cost of energy in the state. Major AEA programs include the Renewable Energy Fund, the Alternative Energy and Energy Efficiency Program, the Bulk Fuel Upgrades Program and the Rural Power Systems Upgrade Program. The Renewable Energy Fund was created by the Alaska State Legislature in 54

Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

Joel Neimeyer Federal Co-Chair Denali Commission

Ethan Schutt Senior V.P. Land & Energy CIRI

2008 with the intent to appropriate $50 million annually for five years. The Legislature continued funding for an additional 10 years in 2012 with the same goal of providing reliable renewable energy alternatives to Alaskans. The Alternative Energy and Energy Efficiency Program currently manages and funds initiatives totaling $188 million in state and federal funding. The program promotes using renewable resources as alternatives to fossil fuel-based power and heat, as well as enhancing energy production and enduse efficiency. AEA’s Bulk Fuel Upgrades Program encompasses the design and construction of modern, code compliant bulk fuel facilities in rural Alaska. With substantial contributions from the Denali Commission, bulk fuel facilities have been upgraded in dozens of remote communities around the state. The Rural Power Systems Upgrade Program focuses on powerhouse and electrical distribution upgrades, with the identification of renewable energy being a high priority. The program is essential in rural areas that often generate electricity locally using diesel fuel— at a cost often three to five times higher than in Alaska’s urban areas. AEA also administers several loan programs. The Power Project Fund, for instance, provides financing to local utilities, local governments, or independent power producers for the development or upgrade of electric power facilities. The loan term is based on the life of the project. Interest rates vary between tax exempt rates at the high end and zero on the low end. Additionally, AEA—along with the Denali Commission—maintains an Emerging Energy Technology Fund to

Clean Energy Projects Alaska businesses are engaging in a range of projects to promote clean energy. The commercial-scale wind farm on Fire Island is a prime example. Built by CIRI’s wholly owned subsidiary Fire Island Wind LLC, the project involves 11 turbines with a 17.6 megawatt generation capacity. The wind farm is expected to supply more than 50,000 MW-hours of power annually to Chugach Electric Association. It will generate enough electricity to power 4,000 Southcentral Alaska households. The project became commercially operational in September, and it’s going very well, according to Ethan Schutt, CIRI’s senior vice president of land and energy development. “It’s been producing above the expectant energy output this winter,” Schutt said in a February interview. Funding for the project came from CIRI, a CoBank loan and a $17 million cash grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. CIRI will soon be expanding the Fire Island wind farm with 22 additional turbine sites. “A lot of the pre-development activity has already taken place,” Schutt said. “The new development will be under construction the summer of 2014.” In northern Alaska, Chena Hot Springs Resort is using thermal energy to heat three greenhouses that grow enough food for its guests and 75 employees. The resort’s crops include lettuce, tomatoes, herbs, bananas, lemons, limes and oranges. Owner Bernie Karl says the use of thermal energy saves Chena Hot Springs a tremendous amount of money. “If you had to heat all of these buildings (conventionally), it would cost a half a million dollars annually.” Chena Hot Springs funded its thermal energy initiatives through multiple sources. The resort received a $246,000 grant from AEA to lower its power costs and contributed $2 million of its own money. It also borrowed $650,000 from the Utility Energy Fund at 5.73 percent interest.

Energy Efficiency Projects Alaska communities are undertaking a variety of projects to promote energy efficiency. Recently, the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward installed a seawater heat pump system. The project “lifted” dormant heat from raw seawater in Resurrection Bay at temperatures ranging from 37 F to 55 F and then transferred the energy into building heat at a temperature of 120 F. The project was supported primarily by a Denali Commission Emerging Energy Technology Grant for $426,720 and an AEA Round II Renewable Energy Program award of $286,580. The Denali Commission also recently provided $2.1 million for a rural power system upgrade in St. George. Match funding in the amount of more than $3.1 million is being provided by the State of Alaska, for a project total of more than 5.2 million. In another upgrade project, the city of Kenai is borrowing funds from AHFC to enhance some of its facilities. It’s getting a more than $2.1 million loan, at 3.63 interest, through the Alaska Energy Efficiency Revolving Loan Fund Program

Photos courtesy of Chena Hot Springs Resort

Chena Hot Springs Resort grows lettuce, tomatoes and various other produce in greenhouses supported by thermal energy.

and a $200,000 grant from the State of Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development. The city will also devote $13,000 of its own funds toward the project. The energy efficiency project will involve seven buildings: city hall, public safety building, a recreation center, the airport

terminal, a senior center, Vintage Point and a sewer treatment facility. Kenai expects to reap an energy savings of $161,125 in the first year of operation alone.  Former Alaskan Tracy Barbour writes from Tennessee.

April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly


Legal Speak

By Kevin T. Pearson

Extension of Renewable Energy Credits an Uncertain Gift C

ongress’ passage of the Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 on New Year’s Day not only temporarily avoided the so-called fiscal cliff, it also included eagerly anticipated extensions and modifications of tax incentives for the energy industry. But details of how to qualify for those incentives are still uncertain. Two alternative credits against federal income tax are available for certain enumerated types of renewable energy projects: a credit based on the amount of electricity produced by a qualified facility (known as the production tax credit or PTC ) and a credit based on the cost of a qualified facility (known as the investment tax credit or ITC ). In addition, in 2009 Congress introduced a program under which owners of certain facilities that otherwise qualified for the ITC could elect instead to receive a cash grant—known as the Section 1603 Grant—from the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Qualification for these incentives can have a dramatic impact on the economic viability of a renewable energy project and can make the difference between a project that is financeable and one that is not. The PTC and ITC have been scheduled to expire a number of different times, and the PTC has in fact expired, but both have ultimately been extended or reinstated. Each of those extensions prior to the Act involved an extension of the date a project was required to be “placed in service” (i.e., completed) to qualify for the credit. The uncertainty as to whether and how Congress will continue to extend these incentives, along with uncertainties regarding the timeframe in which construction of a particular project could be completed, has helped create a great deal of volatility in the market for renewable energy equipment and in renewable energy project financing markets. Before the Act, the status of the various incentives differed depending on the type of facility and the specific in56

Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

centive involved. To qualify for the PTC, a large wind project must have been placed in service by the end of 2012. Other types of PTC-eligible projects (including biomass, geothermal, landfill gas, trash, refined coal, qualified hydropower, marine and hydrokinetic energy, and other facilities) must have been placed in service by the end of 2013. To qualify for the ITC, a solar facility must be placed in service by the end of 2016. If a project otherwise qualified for the PTC, an election could be made to claim the ITC instead of the PTC. To qualify for the Section 1603 Grant, construction of a project must have begun on or before December 31, 2011, and the project must be placed in service before the applicable PTC or ITC termination date. As the fiscal cliff loomed, many observers hoped that Congress would extend the renewable energy tax credits and the Section 1603 Grant. Although the Act did not extend the Section 1603 Grant, it did extend the PTC for both large wind projects and other types of projects. The Act also replaced the previous “placed in service” PTC sunset date requirement with a “beginning of construction” requirement. Under the Act, an otherwise eligible project will qualify for the PTC if construction begins before January 1, 2014, generally without regard to when the project is placed in service. The Act also extended the election to claim the ITC in lieu of the PTC. Despite the welcome extension, though, questions loom. Most notably, the Act does not specify exactly what “beginning of construction” means for purposes of qualifying for the credits. It is unclear, for example, whether actual physical work at the project site will be required or whether a safe harbor based on the amount spent on a project before the end of the year (similar to the one that the U.S. Department of the Treasury adopted with respect to the Section 1603 Grant) may be adopted. It is also unclear whether and how work delays might im-


pact the determination of whether and when construction will be considered to have begun. Many observers expect the IRS or the Treasury Department to adopt specific rules to address these and other issues, but presently it is not known when those rules might be available. In the meantime, the continued uncertainty regarding the precise parameters of the extension and the relatively short timeframe for beginning construction may inhibit significant development activities on larger projects for which substantial development activities has not already occurred.  Kevin T. Pearson is a partner with Stoel Rives LLP whose practice focuses on federal income tax law, including transactional and tax controversy matters. He regularly advises clients regarding all aspects of corporate taxation and frequently represents clients in renewable energy financing transactions, particularly those involving the federal production tax credit. You can reach him at

New Energy:

Alternative, Renewable or Clean A growing sector of the Alaska economy


n the interest of keeping up with the times, we’re adding a Clean Energy Directory to our stable of lists. Editorial Assistant and Survey Administrator Tasha Anderson expended much effort in creating a new directory. We invite our readers to peruse the list and use it in clean energy endeavors. As you’ve seen in the special section, there is a lot going on in Alaska in the clean energy arena. We wanted to round out the special section with a list of the many companies that are making the business of clean energy a success in Alaska and you will see the wide range of specialties available to Alaskans. We acknowledge the diversification of energy services available throughout the state: be it clean, alternative or renewable, there is much to be done and many to do the work. Help us grow this directory by participating in the business of clean energy, and by contacting Tasha Anderson to add your company to the list:

CLEAN ENERGY Company Company

Top TopExecutive Executive

Agnew::Beck Consulting 441 W. Fifth Ave., Suite 202 Anchorage, AK 99501 Phone: 907-222-5424

Thea Agnew Bemben, Mng. Principal

Alaska Applied Sciences, Inc. PO Box 20993 Juneau, AK 99802 Phone: 907-586-1426

Bill Leighty, Principal

Alaska Architectual Lighting 5401 Cordova St., Suite 202 Anchorage, AK 99518 Phone: 907-561-0100

Joe Dugan, Principal

Year AK Estab. Empls. Empls. Estab.

BusinessActivities Activities Business



Energy planning, energy efficiency, energy conservation, energy policy, environmental assessment, energy supply, housing, FERC licensing, hydroelectric, sustainable recreation, utility assessment, impact studies, sustainable communities, and transportation choices.



Alternatives to electricity for stranded renewable energy transmission, storage, and integration: gaseous hydrogen (GH2) and liquid anhydrous ammonia C-free fuels.



We specialize in the specification of LED lighting and control systems to maximize the energy efficiency in facilities across Alaska.

Alaska Center for Appropriate Technology Mark Masteller, Pres. 4701 E. Begich Cir. Wasilla, AK 99654 Phone: 907-229-1982



The Alaska Center for Appropriate Technology is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational corporation committed to showing how appropriate technology can be applied in Alaska to promote sustainability, diversify the state's economy, and protect the environment.

Alaska Craftsman Home Program PO Box 241647 Anchorage, AK 99524 Phone: 907-258-2247

Rob Jordan, Exec. Dir.



Energy efficiency education.

Alaska Environmental Power LLC 3411 Airport Rd. Fairbanks, AK 99709 Phone: 907-388-9917

Mike Craft, CEO



Wind farm; renewable energy 2MW. With 23 MW expansion planned.

Alaska Forward PO Box 101067 Anchorage, AK 99501 Phone: 907-770-8530 Fax: 907-770-8595

Brian Holst, Committee Chair



Facilitating industry discussion in key sectors that drive Alaska's economy toward the future, including clean energy.

April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly





Top TopExecutive Executive

Alaska Housing Finance Corp. PO Box 101020 Anchorage, AK 99510 Phone: 907-338-6100 Fax: 907-338-9218

Daniel Fauske, CEO/Exec. Dir.

Alaska Power Association 703 W. Tudor Rd., Suite 200 Anchorage, AK 99503 Phone: 907-771-5700 Fax: 907-561-5547

Marilyn Leland, Exec. Dir.

Alaska Village Electric Cooperative Inc. 4831 Eagle St. Anchorage, AK 99503 Phone: 907-561-1818 Fax: 907-562-4086

Meera Kohler, Pres./CEO

Ameresco 6643 Brayton Dr. Anchorage, AK 99508 Phone: 907-278-1880

Gary Gagnon, National Dir., Ops

Arctic Slope Regional Corporation PO Box 129 Barrow, AK 99723 Phone: 907-852-8633 Fax: 907-852-5733

Rex A. Rock Sr., Pres./CEO

Arctic Sun LLC PO Box 74798 Fairbanks, AK 99707 Phone: 907-457-1297 Fax: 907-457-3397

Karl Kassel, Gen. Mgr.

Atmocean Inc. 1274 Vallecita Dr. Santa Fe, NM 87501 Phone: 505-310-2294

Philip Kithil, CEO

Bering Straits Development Company PO Box 1008 Nome, AK 99762 Phone: 907-443-5254 Fax: 907-443-7262

Jerald Brown, VP

Bering Straits Native Corporation 4600 Debarr Rd., Suite 200 Anchorage, AK 99508 Phone: 907-563-3788 Fax: 907-563-2742

Gail Schubert, Pres./CEO

Black & Veatch Corporation 650 California St., 5th Floor San Francisco, CA 94108 Phone: 415-693-9552 Fax: 415-693-9597

Len Rodman, Pres./CEO

Bristol Env. Remediation Services LLC 111 W. 16th Ave., Third Floor Anchorage, AK 99501 Phone: 877-563-0013 Fax: 907-563-6713

Steve Johnson, CEO/Senior Engineer

Year AK Estab. Empls. Empls. Estab.

BusinessActivities Activities Business



Statewide self-supporting public corp. providing single- and multi-family financing, energy and weatherization programs, and low-income rental assistance.



Alaska Power Association is the statewide trade association for electric utilities and companies that provide services to the electric industry. Services include government relations, training, insurance, industry forums and industry news.



AVEC provides power to 55 villages.



Energy efficiency, renewable energy, energy upgrades, performance contracting, energy savings performance contracting, financing, low interest loans, HVAC and energy conservation. 1972

4,525 Energy services, petroleum refining and marketing, engineering, construction, government services, resource development, commercial lending, tourism and communications.



Renewable energy sales and installation.



Ocean wave energy.



Bering Straits Development Company is a general contracting organization with a strong focus on energy efficiency & renewable energy. BSDC provides certified residential & commercial energy audits, installation of wind, solar PV, solar DHW, new & remodel construction.



Government service contracts, construction and renovation, property management and consulting services, IT, base operations support services, logistics, airfield and aircraft services, administrative services, electrical construction services, engineering and project management.



Black & Veatch is a global engineering, consulting and construction firm specializing in critical human infrastructure in the areas of energy, water, telecommunications, environmental services and federal servicesÑwith decades of experience in energy efficiency and all types of renewable energy.



Environmental consulting, remediation, waste characterization/disposal, hazardous toxic waste removal, and military range and UXO services; an 8(a) company.

Central Alaska Engineering Company LLC Jerry Herring, PE/Owner 32215 Lakefront Dr. Soldotna, AK 99669-8913 Phone: 907-260-5311 Fax: 907-260-5312



CAEC is an engineering consulting firm in business for over 20 years providing practical solutions to the design challenges facing Alaska's many different industries. CAEC provides a full range of energy audits, engineering studies, design and construction management services.

Chenega Energy LLC 6151 A St. Anchorage, AK 99518 Phone: 907-261-3209 Fax: 907-261-3299

Greg Porter, Pres.



Founded in 2012, Chenega Energy LLC provides a broad range of renewable/ sustainable energy solutions, including: design and implementation of energy savings projects, energy efficient retrofits, commercial energy auditing, alternative energy solutions, efficient power generation systems and more.

Cook Inletkeeper PO Box 3269 Homer, AK 99603 Phone: 907-235-4068 Fax: 907-235-4069

Wayne Jenkins, Exec. Dir.



Inletkeeper works to protect the Cook Inlet watershed and the life it sustains; we support clean, renewable energy projects to power Alaskan homes and economies.

Dalson Energy Inc. 205 E. Dimond Blvd. #502 Anchorage, AK 99515 Phone: 907-277-7900

Thomas Deerfield, CEO



Renewable energy consulting, project development and coordination services.

ENVIRON International Corp. 3909 Arctic Blvd., Suite 101 Anchorage, AK 99503 Phone: 907-563-0515 Fax: 907-563-0520

Laura Noland, Sr. Mgr./Sr. Env. Scnst.



Environmental consulting; health sciences; natural resource management services; air quality management; ecology and sediment management; environmental compliance and permitting; contaminated sites solutions; water resources; sustainability; and green infrastructure.


Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

Company Company

TopExecutive Executive Top

Golden Valley Electric Association PO Box 71249 Fairbanks, AK 99707-1249 Phone: 907-452-1151 Fax: 907-458-6368

Cory Borgeson, Pres./CEO

Juneau Hydropower Inc. PO Box 22775 Juneau, AK 99802 Phone: 907-789-2775 Fax: 907-375-2973

Duff Mitchell, VP/Business Mgr.

Lime Solar 3090 Mountain View Dr., Suite 190 Anchorage, AK 99501 Phone: 907-272-5463 Fax: 907-277-6527




Hydropower development and operations. Sweetheart Lake Hydroelectric Project 19.8 MW Capacity 111 GWh annual generation supplying Juneau, Alaska with clean and reliable hydropower generation.



Solar, wind, and hydro systems from inception to implementation for commercial and residential applications. Site surveys to see if your location would an ideal location for a renewable system. LED lighting for residential and commercial buildings.



Energy systems, environmental, construction, telecommunications.



ML&P provides safe, affordable, & reliable electric service to 30,000+ residential & commercial customers in Anch., including the downtown & university-medical districts as well as JBER. ML&P celebrates 80 years of positive energy. @MLandP or



Water, wastewater, environmental remediation, permitting and power.



Environment energy, health and safety: A multidisciplined professional consulting firm with registered engineers and certified industrial hygienists on staff providing environmental, engineering, energy auditing industrial hygiene and health and safety professional services throughout Alaska.



Construction; engineering and environmental services, including environmental investigation, restoration, remediation, permitting and regulatory support; natural and cultural resource services; waste management; public involvement; health and safety support; and mine reclamation. Mick McKay, CEO

Municipal Light & Power 1200 E. First Ave. Anchorage, AK 99501 Phone: 907-279-7671 Fax: 907-263-5828

James Posey, Gen. Mgr.

MWH 1835 S. Bragaw St., Suite 350 Anchorage, AK 99508 Phone: 907-248-8883 Fax: 907-248-8884

Chris Brown, Alaska Reg. Mgr.

NORTECH Inc. 2400 College Rd. Fairbanks, AK 99709-3754 Phone: 907-452-5688 Fax: 907-452-5694

John Hargesheimer, Pres.

North Wind Group 1425 Higham St. Idaho Falls, ID 83402 Phone: 208-528-8718

Sylvia Medina, Pres.

Business BusinessActivities Activities


Marsh Creek LLC 2000 E. 88th Ave. Anchorage, AK 99507 Phone: 907-258-0050 Fax: 907-279-5710

Year AK AK Estab. Estab. Empls. Empls.

Eva Creek Wind came online in 2012. With nearly 25 megawatts of power, Eva Creek is the largest wind project in Alaska.

April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly





Top TopExecutive Executive

Nuera Corporation PO Box 3515 Federal Way, WA 98063 Phone: 907-345-6411 Fax: 253-661-4529

Steven Ransom, Owner

Ocean Renewable Power Company 725 Christensen Dr., Suite 6 Anchorage, AK 99501 Phone: 207-772-7707

Chris Sauer, Pres./CEO

Renewable Energy Systems LLC 145 W. Dimond Blvd. Anchorage, AK 99518 Phone: 907-561-7941

Marvin Kuentzel, Owner

Resolute Marine 3 Post Office Square, 3rd Floor Boston, MA 02109-3905 Phone: 917-626-6790

Bill Staby, CEO

Rural Energy Enterprises 6637 Arctic Spur Rd. Anchorage, AK 99518 Phone: 907-278-7441 Fax: 907-868-1766

Jason Evans, CEO

Siemens Industry Inc. 5333 Fairbanks St., Unit B Anchorage, AK 99518 Phone: 907-563-2242 Fax: 907-563-6139

Leverette Hoover, Gen. Mgr. AK

Southeast Alaska Conservation Council 419 Sixth St., Suite 200 Juneau, AK 99801 Phone: 907-586-6942 Fax: 907-463-3312

Lindsey Ketchel, Exec. Dir.

Southeast Conference PO Box 50 Haines, AK 99827 Phone: 907-523-4353 Fax: 907-463-5670

Shelly Wright, Exec. Dir.

STG Incorporated 11710 S. Gambell St. Anchorage, AK 99515 Phone: 907-644-4664 Fax: 907-644-4666

James St. George, Pres.

Susitna Energy Systems 2507 Fairbanks St. Anchorage, AK 99503 Phone: 907-337-1300 Fax: 907-644-4120

Kirk Garoutte, Owner

Turnagain Arm Tidal Energy Corp. 821 N St., Suite 207 Anchorage, AK 99501 Phone: 907-274-7571 Fax: 907-277-3300

Dominic Lee, Pres./CEO

Year AK Estab. Empls. Empls. Estab.

BusinessActivities Activities Business



We are the Pacific Northwest distributors of EnergyLogic waste oil furnaces, boilers and Val 6 space heaters. We stock a complete line of parts as well. Our furnaces are desirable because they take a contaminate like waste oil and burn it clean for heat. Its a winning solution for everyone!



ORPC develops systems & projects using ocean & river currents to produce clean, reliable power. In 2012 ORPC delivered the 1st power to the grid from its Maine tidal energy project for which ORPC also has the US's 1st tidal energy power purchase agreement. Doug Johnson represents ORPC in Alaska.



Renewable Energy Systems works closely with customers to evaluate their requirements and site demands, design, install and test new systems, and provide service and support. We specialize in systems that blend the appropriate energy sources into reliable, cost effective and long lasting systems.



RME designs, builds and deploys wave energy converters and is focused on developing projects in Alaskan communities that depend upon diesel generators for their heat and electricity.



Wholesale distributor supplying energy efficient heating products in Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota and in Canada everything west of Quebec to a extensive network of retail dealers.



Energy Services Company (ESCO)/Total Building Integrator: to include Building Automation/Energy Management control systems, fire alarm, HVAC mechanical systems, security (card access, CCTV, intrusion, etc.), audio and video solutions and mass notification systems.



Renewable energy and community sustainability advocacy and promotion, including demonstration projects, education, and community organizing. Environmental and community protection. Find us on Facebook at southeastalaskaconservationcouncil.



Regional development organization.



Renewable energy systems, tower construction, power generation and distribution facilities, pile foundations and bulk-fuel systems.



Susitna Energy Systems is dedicated to energy independence. We provide renewable energy and off grid solutions such as solar and wind systems statewide as well as offer reliable and affordable heating alternatives. We also provide installation and repair services for many of our products.



Harness the energy of the tides to produce clean, renewable electricity for Alaska's Railbelt.

UAF Bristol Bay Sustainable Energy Prgm. Tom Marsik, Asst. Prof. Sust. Energy PO Box 1070 Dillingham, AK 99576 Phone: 907-842-5109



Sustainable energy education and outreach.

V3 Energy LLC 19211 Babrof Dr. Eagle River, AK 99577 Phone: 907-350-5047

Douglas Vaught, PE



Consulting services for wind resource assessment and modeling, wind turbine site selection and turbine array layout, village wind-diesel power system development, and renewable energy feasibility studies.

Waste Management of Alaska Inc. 1519 Ship Ave. Anchorage, AK 99501 Phone: 855-973-3949 Fax: 866-491-2008

Mike Holzschuh, Territory Mgr./N.Am.



Hazardous and nonhazardous waste disposal, project management, complete logistical oversight, complete U.S. and Canadian manifesting, rail transportation, over-the-road transportation, marine transportation and turnkey remedial services.

Wind Diesel North America PO Box 1158 Willow, AK 99688 Phone: 907-250-5890 Fax: 866-207-7731

Erin McLarnon, Owner/Mgr.



Our mission is to provide the highest quality service, superior knowledge and state of the art products for all your commercial wind and wind-diesel needs.

Wolf Solar Electric LLC PO Box 612 Tok, AK 99780 Phone: 907-940-5580

Jarrett Humphreys



Design, sales, and installation of grid-tie and remote power systems. Wind, solar, and micro-hydro power systems. Energy efficiency upgrades, LED lighting, and energy audits. NABCEP certified Solar PV installer, licensed, bonded, insured.



Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013


Visit Anchorage Annual Seymour Awards Banquet April 12, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.—Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center, Anchorage: Celebrates the industry’s successes of the past year. Special award presentations will be made to Visit Anchorage partners whose exceptional efforts have made these achievements possible. Registration required.

Alaska Rural Energy Conference

Business of Clean Energy in Alaska Conference May 2-3—Dena’ina Civic & Convention Center, Anchorage: Held annually, this conference brings together business, civic and government leaders from around the state, nation and the world in a strategic and educational forum to share information and ideas on moving Alaska toward a sustainable energy future.

Private Sector Transportation Infrastructure and Assets: Response Capacity and Development in the Arctic Workshop May 29-7 pm. to 9 p.m. and 30-8 a.m. to 5 p.m.—World Trade Center, Seattle: Follow up discussion to the Dec. 2012 Arctic Transportation Infrastructure workshop in Reykjavik; will focus on the private sector and industry response capacity, with an emphasis on assets deployed and infrastructure developed in the Arctic. Opening reception on May 29. Registration required.

ASCE 10th International Symposium on Cold Regions Development: Planning for Sustainable Cold Regions June 3-5—Dena’ina Civic & Convention Center, Anchorage: The program will include technical tracks and a timely panel discussion about Climate Change. Social events include an ice breaker reception, awards luncheon, and conference banquet. Field trips to sites that demonstrate successful applications to cold regions engineering will also be scheduled.

■ ■

NASBO Annual Meeting July 21-24—Hotel Captain Cook, Anchorage: The National Association of State Budget Officers, hosted by the Alaska Office of Management and Budget, meets to hear expert speakers on the economy, state revenues, healthcare reforms and more, as well as to network. Contact: Lauren Cummings 202-624-8434

USAEE/IAEE North American Conference July 28-31—Hotel Captain Cook, Anchorage: The theme of the conference is Industry Meets Government: Impact on Energy Use and Development. This conference will address the issues, challenges, and opportunities of industry-government relations as the stakeholders strive to meet their respective goals for commerce and society. Contact: Roger Marks 907-250-1197

■ ■

Institute of the North’s Week of the Arctic August 12-18—The Institute has been convening Week of the Arctice since 2011 to help Alaskans understand the critical challenges and issues at stake in the Arctic. It culminatges with the Robert O. Anderson Sustainable Arctic Award, which recognizes and individual or organization for long-time achievement in balancing development of Arctic resources with respect for the environment and local benefit.


Alaska Oil and Gas Congress September 17-18—Anchorage: The Annual Alaska Oil and Gas Congress brings together oil and gas professionals from across the US, Canada and abroad and is dedicated to updates on projects, policy, opportunities and challenges in the oil and gas industry in Alaska.

Alaska Fire Conference September 23-28—Anchorage: The theme is “Today’s Visions Tomorrow’s Reality,” and conference includes training and a firefighter competition.

AAR Convention September 17-21—Hotel Captain Cook, Anchorage: The Alaska Association of Realtors 2013 Convention theme is “No Excuses” and will be hosted by the Valley Board of Realtors.




ISOPE Arctic Materials Symposium June 30-July 5—Egan Civic & Convention Center, Anchorage: Special symposium organized to provide the scientific-industrial community an insight of new materials and technology development in the subject of Arctic Materials.


April 29-May 1—Sheraton Hotel, Anchorage: This conference is a three day event offering a large variety of technical sessions covering new and ongoing energy projects in Alaska, as well as new technologies and needs for Alaska’s remote communities. Registration Required. Contact: Amanda Byrd


Compiled By Tasha Anderson

Alaska Business Monthly’s Top 49ers Luncheon October 2—Dena’ina Civic & Convention Center, Anchorage: Come honor the top Alaskan-owned companies, ranked by gross revenue, at the annual luncheon. Contact: Tasha Anderson 907-276-4373 or

Alaska Coalition on Housing and Homelessness Conference October 9-11—Anchorage Marriott Downtown, Anchorage: Events include keynote speakers and training sessions. Registration required.

Native Knowledge: Respecting and Owning our Living Culture October 21-23—Carlson Center, Fairbanks: Sponsored by the First Alaskans Institute, the conference stimulates dialogue between young people and Elders, and encourages the maintenance of traditional Native values and practices in a modern world. Registration required. or 907-677-1700

Alaska Federation of Natives Annual Convention October 24-26—Fairbanks: 6th Annual gathering of Alaska Native peoples to discuss current news and events on a state, national and international level. 907-263-1307


■ ■

Alaska Miners Association Annual Convention & Trade Show Time and Place: TBD—Includes luncheons, banquets, keynote speakers and short courses.

Alaska Resources Annual Convention Save the Date: November 20-21—Annual conference of the Resource Development Council of Alaska.

April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly



Alaska Travel Industry Association Determining who is the next visitor to Alaska By Nicole A. Bonham Colby


s one of the strongest links among the independent Alaskan visitor industry operator, the state’s planning and tourism arm, and the actual traveler spending money to come visit the Great Land, the Alaska Travel Industry Association serves as a barometer of travel trends and influences. Its 700-plus membership that spans the breadth of the 49th state is largely made up of the men and women who own, operate and staff the state’s variety of visitor and tourism-related businesses. As a result, the organization is first on the ground to register when there is a change in demographic, in requested travel product, or in international or domestic targeted interest in Alaska. That information is funneled to the state’s tourism marketers and helps determine Alaska’s visitor industry targeted marketing campaign and annual plan. Whether a charter boat operator in Ketchikan, a northern lights tour company in Fairbanks, or adventure travel charter in the Aleutians, members participate in annual strategizing and provide feedback that directly links to how the state attracts its next visitor. 62

Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

For 2013, ATIA staff members say they are seeing increased interest from international travelers, arrival of new air service to Anchorage that will further open up the European market, and a “huge” growth of visitors from Down Under. As one of the state’s cornerstone industries and economic forces, tourism and visitor industry commerce remains big business in Alaska—furthered by the grassroots folks who are providing the front-end services. Whether a policy discussion, workshop to develop a regional or company level tourism strategy plan, or simply a webinar or instructional guide to help the local tourism business capture its market, the ATIA is on board.

Member Toolbox Jillian Simpson, current membership director at ATIA who formerly directed international marketing for the organization, recently commented on such trends. “The industry is definitely healthy,” she says. “We are seeing growth. We are seeing visitor numbers come back up. Worldwide projections for travel are positive.”

“The industry is definitely healthy. We are seeing growth. We are seeing visitor numbers come back up. Worldwide projections for travel are positive.” —Jillian Simpson Membership Director, ATIA

The organization itself is also experiencing some internal growth, rolling out a new membership program and related benefits for its existing and potential members. “This is going to be a big push for us” in upcoming months, she says. For those who are uninitiated to the organization, it provides a targeted method for travel-related businesses in the state to receive assistance in marketing their product, to participate in a collective voice toward policy issues, and to refine and improve on an ongoing basis how the state determines and plans for the next Alaska visitor. It’s a good place to “just learn about the distribution channels (for your product),

Humpback whale breaches at sunset with full moon and Chilkat Mountains in the background, Southeast Alaska. Š John Hyde/

April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly


or if you have issues impacting you— policy issues—that you need counsel on...” Simpson says.

Current Trends In recent years, the state’s Alaska Visitor Statistics Program and related reports showed that international visitation is taking a larger and larger piece of the market share of visitors to Alaska, Simpson says. This summer, one related expansion that has Alaska tourism marketers excited is the initiation of Icelandair flying into Anchorage from Reykjavik twice weekly. While the access to Iceland itself is interesting, the larger impact is the network of connections that the airline provides to visitors traveling to and from Alaska. “It really opens up all of Europe,” Simpson says. “We expect to see a spike in visitation from Europe, really because of their network in Europe.” The importance of the Iceland connection was highlighted when 20 Alaska businesses traveled to the country recently for a business summit. As a result of that new connection option, Alaska has made a “nice invest-

ment” in targeting its marketing to the European traveler. The state currently enjoys access to a number of international flights. Most notable of past years is perhaps Condor airlines, which travels four times each week between Frankfurt and Anchorage, with one flight that goes on to Fairbanks. Condor operates seasonally from May to October. “The vast majority of the travelers are from Germany and Switzerland,” Simpson says. But the biggest growth-sector for Alaska tourism currently is, perhaps surprisingly—Australians. “Certainly the strength of the Australian dollar.... has made it more affordable to come,” says Simpson. Many Australians enjoy cruising. With Alaska among the world’s prime cruising destination, coming north for other travel is not so much of a leap for Australians, she says. Also, “there are a lot more trans-pacific flights available,” Simpson says. One area of potential growth that the industry is examining is the emerging markets of China, Brazil and India. “The state is looking very closely” at the potential visitor influx from those coun-

tries, she says. “Right now, it’s a small share of the international market.” Another prime area where the state is seeing increased visitor interest is with family travel. “Multi-generational travel is gaining popularity all over,” she says. “People are taking trips for special events and anniversaries.”

Quick and Nimble Because the leisure travel industry is among those most sensitive to external financial and logistical impacts—whether it be a market downturn in a certain region or country, global transportation influences, or even an unexpected natural disaster—travel industry marketers must react quickly and be flexible in their planning and response. While the planning itself is done a year or so out, the option to change those plans based on unexpected influences is a hallmark of the travel and visitor industry. “Right now, we’ve done the draft of the marketing plan for the visitor season of summer 2014,” Simpson says. “We’ll have that finalized in June. Some components of the marketing program work year after year.” One example

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Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

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might be targeted marketing packets mailed to prospective visitors who have requested information about the state. “Sometimes, it takes two to three years to commit,” she says. Because the organization is further segmented into smaller committees and subcommittees that meet regularly, members and planners are able to stay on top of current events. One example is the earthquake that occurred in Japan and resulting catastrophic tsunami. “There was the earthquake one month before we were planning a major sales mission to Japan,” Simpson recalls. Immediately the committee of members and staff had to determine if the major campaign would—or should—go forward, she said. “We reallocated those funds toward promotions in Korea ... and then we decided to do the mission in the fall,” she says. “We wanted to try to give it some breathing room.” According to Simpson, the industry organization was able to react and redirect its marketing so quickly largely in part to the fact that the state has contractors all over the world “to provide that kind of counsel to us and we were able to make decisions,” she says.

Off Season While Alaska’s prime visitor season remains the summertime and the draw of its Midnight Sun, winter tourism constitutes 15 percent of overall visitation to the state, Simpson says. “Fall winter is a special time. Maybe a little bit more niche,” she says. The Iditarod and World Ice Art championships remain a steady draw during the alternative season. And, Alaska’s crystal clear nighttime skies are still a treasured tourism product. “The northern lights are a huge draw,” she says. “We are one of the more ideal places in the world to view them.” For many years and ongoing, the state has benefited from Japanese charters targeted directly to northern lights tours. “What a great economic boost,” Simpson adds. As one example of the benefits afforded to organization members, the ATIA undertook a dual-tiered campaign targeted to two user groups: first, destination marketing organizations/land management planners; and second, tourism businesses. The organization provides a strategic plan for each group on its website regarding how to tap that alternative

MEETINGS PAY IN ANCHORAGE Don Stevens THE MEETING: The International Environmetrics Society 2013 Annual Conference June 9-14, 2013 400 delegates Estimated Economic Impact of $389,000

season of great potential. “Winter tourism is growing,” Simpson says.

Making the Most Such strategic plans and personal counsel to Alaska’s cadre of visitor industry businesses is among the standard fare for ATIA. The organization’s member benefits otherwise include opportunities for members to post jobs on a shared site, discounted trade show booth space, discounts to annual industry convention and trade shows, personal consultation with ATIA staff to develop custom marketing opportunities, and other benefits. With membership from Barrow to Ketchikan, the organization is helping guide the state in determining who is the next visitor to Alaska. “Tourism in general is really fun,” says Simpson, who has worked in the industry for many years and is helping craft the upcoming expansion of membership benefits.  Nicole A. Bonham Colby writes from Ketchikan.

THANK YOU TO ANOTHER ANCHORAGE MEETING CHAMPION! Don Stevens knows green. As president of the International Environmetrics Society (TIES), his organization fosters research in the sciences, environmental engineering and ecological protection. But Don also knows the value of meetings to the local economy. So he showed his group what Anchorage had to offer. He’s working for a greener planet and bringing a little green to Anchorage businesses at the same time.



April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly


special section

2013 Corporate 100—Top Citizens of Industry

2013 Corporate 100


Racing to Success!

ongratulations to this year’s Corporate 100! We once again were tasked with selecting the companies we at Alaska Business Monthly feel are best representative of the Corporate Citizens of Alaska. As always, this is a subjective list, not necessarily dependent on the size of a company, the number of its employees, or the revenue generated, although those factors are taken into consideration in the selection process. The Alaska Business Monthly Corporate 100 is a broad cross-section of Corporate Alaska, from small companies to large—Alaskan-owned to multi-nationals. The list changes every year, some companies will appear year after year, others will be new to the list. Something every company has in common is community involvement, either by the company as a whole, or by its individual employees. We ask that you help us honor and salute this year’s Corporate 100. Employees & Revenue

Afognak Native Corp./Alutiiq 215 Mission Rd., Suite 212 Kodiak, AK 99503

Government contracting, oilfield services, bio-renewable energy, and construction.

Year Founded: 1977 Estab. in Alaska: 1977

907-762-9457 Richard Hobbs, Pres./CEO

Alutiiq Museum, Native Village of Afognak, Junior Achievement of Alaska, Port Lions School, Special Olympics, Alaska Native Justice Center and more.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 179 Worldwide: 4,500

Native Organization |

Ahtna Inc. PO Box 649 Glennallen, AK 99588 907-822-3476

Native organization; operations include civil and vertical construction, environmental remediation, facilities management and support services, forestry and gravel sales, government contracting, healthcare and medical records services, oil and gas pipeline maintenance and construction, etc.

Michelle Anderson, Pres.

Food drives, sponsorships, donations, community functions and more.

Native Organization |

Alaska Airlines 4750 Old Int'l Airport Rd. Anchorage, AK 99502

Alaska Air Group Inc.

Alaska Airlines and its sister carrier, Horizon Air, together provide passenger and cargo service to more than 90 cities in Alaska, Canada, Mexico, Hawaii and the Lower 48.


Seattle, WA

Marilyn Romano, Reg. VP Alaska



Alaska Commercial Co. 550 W. 64th Ave. Anchorage, AK 99518

The North West Co.

Largest rural retailer of merchandise and groceries in Alaska, including a wholesale division that sells groceries to more than 150 rural stores and a meat-packing plant.


Winnipeg, MB Canada

Rex Wilhelm, Pres./COO


Retail & Wholesale Trade


Company leaders serve on boards of a variety of organizations, including the University of Alaska Foundation, Alaska State Chamber, Resource Development Council, Visit Anchorage, Anchorage Museum and more.

Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

Major sponsor of Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, ASAA, Junior Achievement, Special Olympics, I Did It By Two, the Food Bank of Alaska, American Diabetes Association, and many other regional and local events. |

Year Founded: 1972 Estab. in Alaska: 1972 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 276 Worldwide: 1,705 Global: $185.00M

Year Founded: 1932 Estab. in Alaska: 1932 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 1,605 Worldwide: 9,947 Global: $4.70B

Year Founded: 1867 Estab. in Alaska: 1867 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 923 Worldwide: 1,675 Alaska: $212.60M Global: $472.35M

strong roots strong roots ALWAYS lead to ALWAYS lead to

GROWTH GROWTH OUR VALUES OUR VALUES Culture Culture Safety Safety Quality Quality Honesty Honesty Integrity Communication Integrity Communication Innovation Innovation Commitment Prosperity Commitment Prosperity

In the Ahtna Athabascan language,

Netiye’ means “Our

Strength” Netiye’ means “Our Strength”

Ahtna Netiye’, Inc. STREET, A SUITEN100 | ANCHORAGE, AK 99503

110 W 38 PH: (907) 868-8250 | FAX: (907) 868-8285 Learn more at th

special section

2013 Corporate 100—Top Citizens of Industry Employees & Revenue We are a leading provider of high-speed wireless, mobile broadband, Internet, local, long-distance and advanced broadband solutions for businesses and consumers in Alaska. Through corporate donations and employee volunteer work, we believe in giving back to help build a better Alaska.

Alaska Communications 600 Telephone Ave. Anchorage, AK 99503 907-297-3000 Anand Vadapalli, Pres./CEO



Through corporate donations and employee volunteer work, we give back to help build a better Alaska. Our programs include our Employee Volunteer Grant program, Summer of Heroes Youth Awards and annual United Way Workplace Campaign.

Year Founded: 1999 Estab. in Alaska: 1999 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 830 Worldwide: 850 |

Alaska Housing Finance Corp. PO Box 101020 Anchorage, AK 99510 907-338-6100

State of Alaska, Department of Revenue

Daniel Fauske, CEO/Exec. Dir.

Juneau, AK

Year Founded: 1971 Estab. in Alaska: 1971

Big Brothers/Big Sisters, United Way, Chamber of Commerce, Clean-up Day, Project Homeless Connect, StandDown, Paint the Town, Resource Development Council, Bean's Cafe, Campfire USA.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 320 Worldwide: 320

Finance, Insurance, Real Estate |

Alaska Industrial Hardware Inc. 2192 Viking Dr. Anchorage, AK 99501

Retail, tools, hardware and construction supplies.

Year Founded: 1959 Estab. in Alaska: 1959

Mike Kangas, Pres./Gen. Mgr.

United Way, Bean's Cafe, Food Bank of AK, Boys & Girls Club, Iron Dog, Willow Jr. 100, STAR, AKEELA-House, AWAIC, Bird Treatment Center, AFD Search & Rescue, AK Peace Officers, APD and more.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 197 Worldwide: 197

Retail & Wholesale Trade |

Alaska: $58.60M Global: $58.60M

Freight and passenger rail transportation and real estate leasing and permitting services.

Year Founded: 1914 Estab. in Alaska: 1914

School Business Partnerships, Anchorage Downtown Partnership, member of all Railbelt chambers of commerce, member of Resource Development Council, member of Green Star.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 685 Worldwide: 685

Transportation |

Alaska: $146.00M

Alaska Regional Hospital 2801 DeBarr Rd. Anchorage, AK 99508


Year Founded: 1963 Estab. in Alaska: 1963


Nashville, TN

24-hour ER dept, maternity center, LifeFlight Air Ambulance, cancer care center, neuroscience center, heart center & cardiac rehabilitation, diagnostic imaging, orthopedic & spine center, outpatient infusion & dialysis, sleep lab, pediatrics unit, da Vinci surgical robot, and more.

Annie Holt, CEO



Alaska Railroad Corp. PO Box 107500 Anchorage, AK 99510-7500 907-265-2300

Alaska Dept. of Commerce, Community & Economic Development

Christopher Aadnesen, Pres./CEO

Juneau, AK

Health Care

Blood Bank of Alaska, Red Cross, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, free immunization clinics, free community health fairs & seminars, and more.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 900 Worldwide: 900 |

Alaska Ship & Drydock 3810 Tongass Ave. Ketchikan, AK 99901

Vigor Industrial


Portland, OR

Shipbuilding and repair; advanced manufacturing.

Adam Beck, Pres. Industrial Services


Statewide self-supporting public corp. providing single- and multifamily financing, energy and weatherization programs, and lowincome rental assistance.

Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

ASD operates the Ketchikan Shipyard through a public private partnership with AIDEA, the Ketchikan Gateway Borough and the City of Ketchikan. |

Year Founded: 1994 Estab. in Alaska: 1994 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 130 Worldwide: 130

Fort Knox First things first. At Fort Knox, our priorities are simple. Our people. Our community. Our environment. We invest in our people, so they are trained to do the best job possible. We support our community with charitable ings First Thlocal irstand Fhours donations, volunteer purchases. We adhere to the toughest standards to protect water and air quality. These are our priorities. Because at Fort Knox, it’s about putting first things first.

Fairbanks Gold Mining Inc. A Kinross company are simple. r top priorities nment. nity. Our enviro

At Fort Knox, ou


special section

2013 Corporate 100—Top Citizens of Industry

Alaska USA Federal Credit Union PO Box 196613 Anchorage, AK 99519-6613 907-563-4567 William Eckhardt, Pres. Finance, Insurance, Real Estate

Alaskan Brewing Co. 5429 Shaune Dr. Juneau, AK 99801 907-780-5866 Linda Thomas, COO Brewers (Mfrs)

Financial services including: consumer and commercial deposit and loan services, as well as mortgage and real estate loans, insurance, investments and investment management, and title and escrow closing services. Donated to more than 200 community/service organizations statewide. Helps raise money for the Alaska USA Foundation, providing funds for services for children, veterans, and active duty military/families. Brewing & bottling award-winning beer with historic recipes, local ingredients, & glacier-fed water in Juneau since 1986. As one of the top US craft breweries, Alaskan distributes handcrafted products in 14 states & is a leader in sustainable brewing. Annually we donate more than $150,000 in time, product, & monetary donations. We sponsor a selected local nonprofit with our tasting bar tips each year and founded the nonprofit initiative Coastal CODE (, funded by 1% of Alaskan IPA proceeds.

Employees & Revenue

Year Founded: 1948 Estab. in Alaska: 1948 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 1,360 Worldwide: 1,728 Alaska: $209.00M Global: $342.00M

Year Founded: 1986 Estab. in Alaska: 1986 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 79 Worldwide: 97 |

Aleut Corporation 4000 Old Seward Hwy., Suite 300 Anchorage, AK 99503

Government operations and maintenance contracting, fuel delivery, sales and storage, commercial real estate, gravel operations, oil field services, water testing, instrumentation and mechanical contracting.

907-561-4300 David Gillespie, CEO

Aleut Foundation, scholarships, burial assistance, culture camps, language, environmental protection, economic development, housing, vocational rehab and more.

Native Organization |

Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. PO Box 196660, MS 542 Anchorage, AK 99519-6660 907-787-8700 Thomas Barrett, Pres. Oil & Gas

Alyeska supports organizations in the pipeline corridor, focusing mainly on underserved populations, and areas such as health and social services, education, safety, environment, and workforce development. Alyeska also matches employees' financial contributions to and volunteer hours at nonprofits.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 157 Worldwide: 518 Alaska: $42.06M Global: $98.10M

Year Founded: 1970 Estab. in Alaska: 1970 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 800 Worldwide: 800 |


Located 40 miles from Anchorage, Alyeska Resort, featuring the 304 room Hotel Alyeska, is your luxury base camp for summer and winter. Alyeska Resort stands out during ski season with 650" of average snowfall annually and the longest continuous double black diamond ski run in North America.

Mark Weakland, VP/Hotel GM

ATIA, ACVB, ABA, NTA, Four Valleys Community School, Blueberry Festival, Spring Carnival & concerts.

Travel &Tourism |

American Fast Freight Inc. 5025 Van Buren St. Anchorage, AK 99517

Ocean and air freight forwarding, LTL and FTL, household moving and storage, short-term and long-term warehousing, distribution, cold storage, Alaska intrastate and Alcan trucking, bypass mail, project logistics, over-dimensional, dry transit.

Year Founded: 1988 Estab. in Alaska: 1988

800-642-6664 Zach Jacobson, AK Sales Mgr.

Food Bank of Alaska, American Red Cross, Alaska General Contractors, Irondog, Great Alaska Shootout, and American Cancer Society.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 100 Worldwide: 380


Alyeska Resort PO Box 249 Girdwood, AK 99587


Designed, built, operates and maintains the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS), pump stations and Valdez Marine Terminal on behalf of five owner companies.

Year Founded: 1972 Estab. in Alaska: 1972

Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

Year Founded: 1959 Estab. in Alaska: 1959 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 650 Worldwide: 650

special section 2013 Corporate 100—Top Citizens of IndustryEmployees & Revenue American Seafoods Group LLC 2025 First Ave., Suite 900 Seattle, WA 98121 206-448-0300 Bernt Bodal, CEO/Chairman

American Seafoods Group LLC Seattle, WA

Catches and processes Bering Sea pollock, Pacific cod, and yellow-fin sole. Global seafood distribution network. $150 million dock and cold storage facility in Dutch Harbor. University of Alaska Fairbanks, Alaska Pacific University, The American Seafoods' Community Advisory Board and Pollock Conservation Cooperative Research Center.

Year Founded: 1988 Estab. in Alaska: 1988 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 67 Worldwide: 1,888

Seafood |

Alaska: $280.00M Global: $533.00M

Anchorage Chrysler Dodge Center 2601 E. Fifth Ave. Anchorage, AK 99501

New and used auto sales, service and parts sales.

Year Founded: 1963 Estab. in Alaska: 1963

Boys & Girls Club, Iditarod Race, Fur Rendezvous, Aces, Intervention Help Line, Alaska Raceway Park, Downtown Partnership, Boy Scouts of America and more.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 93 Worldwide: 93 |

Alaska: $77.85M Global: $77.85M

Energy services, petroleum refining and marketing, engineering, construction, government services, resource development, commercial lending, tourism and communications.

Year Founded: 1972 Estab. in Alaska: 1972

907-276-1331 Rodney Udd, Pres./CEO Retail & Wholesale Trade

Arctic Slope Regional Corporation PO Box 129 Barrow, AK 99723 907-852-8633

North Slope specific and statewide nonprofit organizations.

Rex A. Rock Sr., Pres./CEO

Native Organization

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 4,525 Worldwide: 10,782

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April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly


special section

2013 Corporate 100—Top Citizens of Industry

ASRC Energy Services Inc. 3900 C St., Suite 701 Anchorage, AK 99503 907-339-6200 Jeff Kinneeveauk, Pres./CEO

Arctic Slope Regional Corporation

AES offers expertise from the earliest regulatory stage to exploration, drilling support, engineering, fabrication, construction, project management, operations and maintenance and field abandonment.

Barrow, AK USA

Supporting and focusing on activities that promote a healthy community, AES volunteers, fundraises, and offers sponsorship to charitable, youth, educational, and cultural organizations.

Employees & Revenue

Year Founded: 1985 Estab. in Alaska: 1985 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 3,305 Worldwide: 4,836

Industrial Services |

Alaska: $492.00M Global: $704.00M

AT&T 505 E. Bluff Dr. Anchorage, AK 99501


Year Founded: 1876 Estab. in Alaska: 1971


For more than a century, we have consistently provided innovative, reliable, high-quality products and services and excellent customer care. Today, our mission is to connect people with their world, everywhere they live and work, and do it better than anyone else.

Dallas, TX

Shawn Uschmann, Reg. VP/Business Integrated Solutions


From 2008 through 2011, AT&T and its employees contributed more than $1.8 million through corporate, employee and AT&T Foundation giving programs in Alaska.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 549 Worldwide: 241,130

Telecommunications, | @ATTCustomerCare

Bering Straits Native Corporation 4600 Debarr Rd., Suite 200 Anchorage, AK 99508

Government service contracts, construction and renovation, property management and consulting services, IT, base operations support services, logistics, airfield and aircraft services, administrative services, electrical construction services, engineering and project management.


Bering Straits Foundation, Alaska Federation of Natives, Inuit Circumpolar Conference, NACTEC, Native American Contractors Association, Scotty Gomez Foundation and local organizations, including law enforcement.

Gail Schubert, Pres./CEO Native Organization

Year Founded: 1972 Estab. in Alaska: 1972 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 395 Worldwide: 1,096 Global: $213.40M |

BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. PO Box 196612 Anchorage, AK 99515-6612


BP operates 13 North Slope oil fields, four North Slope pipelines, and owns a significant interest in six other producing fields.

Year Founded: 1959 Estab. in Alaska: 1959


London England

Janet Weiss, Pres.


BPs Alaskan workforce includes 2,300 employees and more than 6,000 contractor jobs in Alaska. Our employees support community organizations in 49 Alaska communities.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 2,300 Worldwide: 80,000

Oil & Gas

Bristol Bay Native Corporation 111 W. 16th Ave., Suite 400 Anchorage, AK 99501

Petroleum distribution, construction, gov., oilfield & industrial services.

Year Founded: 1971 Estab. in Alaska: 1972

Jason Metrokin, Pres./CEO

Alaska Federation of Natives, Alaska Village Initiatives, BLM Resource Advisory Council, Resource Development Council, Alaska Wilderness and Tourism Association, SWAMC, and BBNC Education Foundation.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 938 Worldwide: 3,485

Native Organization |

Alaska: $132.19M Global: $1.57B

Calista Corporation 301 Calista Ct., Suite A Anchorage, AK 99518-3028

Construction and engineering, environmental remediation, real estate, marketing/advertising, web development, satellite, broadcasting, VoIP & LMR services, secure cloud & data hosting, cyber security, heavy equipment services.

Year Founded: 1972 Estab. in Alaska: 1972


907-279-5516 Andrew Guy, Pres./CEO Native Organization


Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

AFN, AVCP, AWAIC, Tundra Women's Coalition, Resource Development Council, AK Mining Association, KYUK radio, AK Native Heritage Center, Rotary, Girl Scouts, Cama'i Festival, scholarships, and internships.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 272 Worldwide: 1,648 |

special section 2013 Corporate 100—Top Citizens of IndustryEmployees & Revenue Carlile Transportation Systems 1800 E. First Ave. Anchorage, AK 99501-1833 907-276-7797 Linda Leary, Pres. Transportation

Carrs Safeway 56 Debarr Rd., Suite 100 Anchorage, AK 99504



Pleasanton, CA

Glenn Peterson, Anchorage Dist. Mgr.


Retail/Wholesale Trade

CH2M HILL 949 E. 36th Ave., Suite 500 Anchorage, AK 99508

Full-service transportation company.

Year Founded: 1980 Estab. in Alaska: 1980

AWCC, Alaska Aces, Fairbanks Ice Dogs, Anchorage Opera and Symphony, Food Bank, AK Sealife Center, Homer Food Pantry, BBBS, and Mountain View Elementary.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 500 Worldwide: 650 |

Alaska: $156.00M

Retail food, drug and fuel.

Year Founded: 1901 Estab. in Alaska: 1950

Food Bank, breast and prostrate cancer, Great Alaska Shootout, Salvation Army, Providence Alaska Foundation, Armed Forces, YMCA, MDA, Easter Seals, ALPAR, UAA and more.


We offer consulting, engineering, procurement, logistics, fabrication, construction, construction management, operations and maintenance services all under one roof, supporting entire project life cycles. We support oil & gas, mining, environmental, water, power, transportation, & government.

Mark Lasswell, AK Business Group Pres./GM

Habitat for Humanity, Water for People, United Way, Engineers Without Borders, American Cancer Society, and CANstruction.

Industrial Services |

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 2,950 Worldwide: 21,000

Year Founded: 1946 Estab. in Alaska: 1962 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 1,960 Worldwide: 30,000

Alaska Investigation Agency We have an abundance of resources at our fingertips and are uniquely prepared for remote investigations, finding people or facts while specializing to your needs.

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Email Website 907-745-1133 • Toll Free: 1-888-704-4445 • Fax: 1-866-331-3617

April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly


special section

2013 Corporate 100—Top Citizens of Industry

Chenega Corporation 3000 C St., Suite 301 Anchorage, AK 99503-3975

Employees & Revenue

Government services contracting and commercial services contracting.

Year Founded: 1974 Estab. in Alaska: 1974

Charles W. Totemoff, CEO/Pres.

AK Fed. of Natives, AK Russian Orthodox Church, Chenega Heritage Inc., Chenega Future, Inc., Wounded Warrior Project AK, AK Vocational Technical Center, Chugach School Dist. Tatitlek Heritage Week, and Nuuciq Spirit Camp.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 532 Worldwide: 5,279

Native Organization |

Global: $1.10B

Government Services (Base Operations and Facilities Maintenance, Construction & Construction Management, Civil Engineering, Education, Environmental/Oil Spill Response and Information Technology); Commercial Services (Oil and Gas Services, Construction and Mechanical Contracting); and Investments.

Year Founded: 1971 Estab. in Alaska: 1971


Chugach Alaska Corporation 3800 Centerpoint Dr., Suite 700 Anchorage, AK 99503-4396 907-563-8866 Sheri Buretta, Chairman

United Way, Alaska Food Bank, American Heart Association, Special Olympics, March of Dimes and KNBA.

Native Organization

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 604 Worldwide: 4,993 |

Coeur Alaska Inc. 3031 Clinton Dr., Suite 202 Juneau, AK 99801

Coeur d'Alene Mines Corp.


Coeur d'Alene, ID

Wayne Zigarlick, VP/Gen. Mgr.



Mining company; owns and operates Kensington underground gold mine 45 miles north-northwest of Juneau. Juneau and Alaska State Chambers of Commerce, Haines Chamber of Commerce, Alaska Miners Association, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Juneau Economic Development Council, and Southeast Conference.

Year Founded: 1987 Estab. in Alaska: 1987 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 300 Worldwide: 1,911 |

ConocoPhillips Alaska Inc. PO Box 100360 Anchorage, AK 99510

ConocoPhillips Company


Houston, TX

Trond-Erik Johansen, Pres.


Largest producer of oil and gas in Alaska, with major operations on Alaska's North Slope and in Cook Inlet.

Year Founded: 1952 Estab. in Alaska: 1952

Provides statewide support to almost every nonprofit sector, including education, environment, arts, health and social services, youth programs and public broadcasting.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 1,000 Worldwide: 16,500

Oil & Gas |

Construction Machinery Industrial 5400 Homer Dr. Anchorage, AK 99518

CMI sells, rents and services heavy equipment.

Year Founded: 1985 Estab. in Alaska: 1985


Sponsors schools sports teams all over Alaska, involved in numerous fundraisers.

Ken Gerondale, Pres./CEO |

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 108 Worldwide: 108

AK Native regional corp. with diversified business interests that include energy & resource development, tourism & hospitality, telecommunications, real estate development & management, oilfield & construction, & environmental remediation services.

Year Founded: 1972 Estab. in Alaska: 1972

Industrial Services

Cook Inlet Region Inc. PO Box 93330 Anchorage, AK 99509-3330 907-274-8638 Sophie Minich, Pres./CEO Native Organization


Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

In addition to supporting local nonprofits, employees, officers, and directors of CIRI personally engage in community activities through volunteerism, personal giving, and sharing as part of CIRI's strong commitment to being a responsible corporate citizen.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 81 Worldwide: 81 |

special section 2013 Corporate 100—Top Citizens of IndustryEmployees & Revenue Craig Taylor Equipment 733 E. Whitney Rd. Anchorage, AK 99501 907-276-5050

Factory authorized dealer for: Komatsu construction and mining, Bobcat loaders and excavators, John Deere commercial and lawn tractors, Dynapac compaction rollers, Fecom land clearing attachments and carriers. Providing sales, parts and service.

Lonnie Parker, Pres.

Alaska 4H, King Career council, and Iditarod supporter.

Construction Retail Trade |

Credit Union 1 1941 Abbott Rd. Anchorage, AK 99507

Full-service financial institution.

Year Founded: 1952 Estab. in Alaska: 1952

CU1 embraces the credit union spirit of "people helping people" by volunteering, donating, educating and encouraging financial wellbeing.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 315 Worldwide: 317 |

Alaska: $50.45M Global: $50.45M

Fuel sales and distribution, marine services, tanker escort and spill response throughout Alaska.

Year Founded: 1892 Estab. in Alaska: 1953

Crowley supports statewide events like the Iron Dog and AFN. In addition, we support youth and healthy lifestyle oriented activities in the communities where we do business.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 500 Worldwide: 4,500

907-339-9485 Leslie Ellis, Pres./CEO Finance, Insurance, Real Estate

Crowley Petroleum Distribution Inc. 201 Arctic Slope Ave. Anchorage, AK 99518 907-777-5505 Bob Cox, VP Transportation

Crowley Maritme Corporation Jacksonville, FL

Year Founded: 1954 Estab. in Alaska: 1954 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 55 Worldwide: 55 |

April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly


special section

2013 Corporate 100—Top Citizens of Industry Commercial construction and design-build. Top current projects: JBER Military Housing privatization, Providence Generations, UAF Life Sciences Teaching & Research Facility, UAF Engineering, Camp Denali Readiness Center addition and Covenant House Alaska replacement.

Davis Constructors & Engineers Inc. 740 Bonanza Ave. Anchorage, AK 99518 907-562-2336

Employee Team Davis: American Cancer Society Relay for Life Nationwide Top 10 Fund Raiser. Employee Fund donations: Covenant House, Safe Harbor, Food Banks, Boys & Girls Clubs and others.

Josh Pepperd, Pres. Construction

Employees & Revenue

Year Founded: 1976 Estab. in Alaska: 1976 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 150 Worldwide: 150 Alaska: $218.74M Global: $218.74M |

Denali Alaskan Federal Credit Union 440 E. 36th Ave. Anchorage, AK 99503

Complete financial services center for Alaskans. Coming in 2013: business financial services, partners in small business success.

Year Founded: 1948 Estab. in Alaska: 1948

907-257-7200 Robert Teachworth, Pres./CEO

Financial education presentations to local groups & schools. Donations committee supports more than 40 groups throughout Alaska.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 315 Worldwide: 320

Finance, Insurance, Real Estate |

Alaska: $43.60M

DOWL HKM 4041 B St. Anchorage, AK 99503

NEPA documentation, agency scoping and permitting and public involvement.


Numerous social service and industry trade organizations by donating time and resources.

Stewart Osgood, Pres. Services

Doyon, Limited 1 Doyon Pl., Suite 300 Fairbanks, AK 99701-2941 907-459-2000 Aaron Schutt, Pres./CEO Native Organization


ENSTAR Natural Gas Co. PO Box 190288 Anchorage, AK 99519

AltaGas Ltd.


Calgary, AB Canada

Colleen Starring, Pres.


Year Founded: 1962 Estab. in Alaska: 1962 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 149 Worldwide: 341 |

Alaska: $31.30M Global: $58.60M

For-profit regional Native corporation.

Year Founded: 1972 Estab. in Alaska: 1972

Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce, Anchorage Convention & Visitors Bureau, Alaska Federation of Natives and various civic and charitable groups.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 1,331 Worldwide: 2,498 |

Alaska: $170.27M Global: $338.28M

Alaska's largest energy utility with 134,000 meters serving over 350,000 Alaskans. Maintains over 2,500 miles of distribution and transmission main throughout Southcentral Alaska.

Year Founded: 1961 Estab. in Alaska: 1961

In 2012, ENSTAR supported over 30 different organizations from all over Southcentral Alaska through corporate contributions, donations, and employee participation.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 200 Worldwide: 200

Utility |

Era Alaska 4700 Old Int'l Airport Rd. Anchorage, AK 99502

Offering scheduled passenger and cargo service to more than 100 communities statewide, Era Alaska's team of professionals on the ground and in the air has the history and experience to offer the highest level of customer satisfaction today and for the future.

Year Founded: 1948 Estab. in Alaska: 1948

907-266-8394 Bob Hajdukovich, CEO

Era Alaska is deeply involved in the communities we serve. Our employees are Alaskans, so these are our communities, and we are committed to being a positive force in these communities.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 960 Worldwide: 960

Airline |

Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

special section 2013 Corporate 100—Top Citizens of IndustryEmployees & Revenue Era Helicopters LLC 6160 Carl Brady Dr., Hangar 2 Anchorage, AK 99502

Alaska's original helicopter company, safely flying customers since 1948. Offering charter services, O&G, mining, and flightseeing in Juneau and Denali National Park.

Year Founded: 1948 Estab. in Alaska: 1949

907-550-8600 W. Randy Orr, VP

Work with the Anchorage and Juneau Convention and Visitors Bureaus for various functions as well as the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 175 Worldwide: 790

Transportation |

Fairbanks Memorial Hospital 1650 Cowles St. Fairbanks, AK 99701

General medical and surgical hospital, home care, mental health, cancer center, pain clinic, imaging center, sleep disorders lab, diabetes center, rehabilitation, long-term care and cardiology.

Year Founded: 1972 Estab. in Alaska: 1972

Partners with United Way and American Heart Association. Works with community groups to better address alcohol and drug abuse issues.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 1,400 Worldwide: 36,000

907-452-8181 Mike Powers, CEO

Banner Health Systems Phoenix, AZ

Health Care |

First National Bank Alaska PO Box 100720 Anchorage, AK 99510-0720

First National Bank Alaska is a full-service commercial bank serving Alaskans with a broad range of deposit and lending services, trust and investment management services and Internet banking.


More than $1.5 million in contributions, including donations, sponsorships, low income housing investments and in-kind donations were given in Alaska.

DH Cuddy, Chairman/Pres. Finance, Insurance, Real Estate


Year Founded: 1922 Estab. in Alaska: 1922 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 694 Worldwide: 694 Alaska: $144.33M Global: $144.33M

Some call it harsh, we call it home. UIC is committed to building relationships with industry and communities to explore opportunities that advance environmentally responsible development.

Your Arctic experts.


April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly


special section

2013 Corporate 100—Top Citizens of Industry

Flint Hills Resources Alaska LLC 1100 H&H Ln. North Pole, AK 99705

Koch Industries Inc.


Wichita, KS

Employees & Revenue

Refiner and distributor of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and asphalt.

Mike Brose, VP

University of Alaska, Boys & Girls Club, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Fairbanks Community Food Bank, Interior Alaska Green Star, Fairbanks Amateur Hockey Association, FLOT Jr, Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, Running Club North, Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks, United Way of the Tanana Valley, Kids Voting.

Oil & Gas |

GCI 2550 Denali St., Suite 1000 Anchorage, AK 99503

Integrated communications provider offering facilities-based local and long distance telephone services, Internet and video services, statewide wireless service, data, tele-health and more.

Year Founded: 1977 Estab. in Alaska: 2004 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 132

Year Founded: 1979 Estab. in Alaska: 1979

Iditarod, Alaska Academic Decathlon, Greater Anchorage Inc., United Way, Providence Cancer Center and more.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 1,734 Worldwide: 1,734


Alaska: $700.00M

Granite Construction Company 11471 Lang St. Anchorage, AK 99515

Granite Construction Inc.

Public and private heavy civil construction, design-build, construction aggregates, recycled base, warm and hot mix asphalt, road construction, bridges, piling, mine infrastructure and reclamation, and sitework.

Year Founded: 1922 Estab. in Alaska: 1974


Watsonville, CA

Derek Betts, Region Mgr.


907-265-5600 Ron Duncan, CEO



Rotary, sports teams sponsorships, Chamber of Commerce, Associated General Contractors education program, Resource Development Council, Alaska Miners Association, and Nordic Ski Association of Anchorage.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 55 Worldwide: 4,000 Global: $2.00B |

Great Northwest Inc. PO Box 74646 Fairbanks, AK 99707

Heavy highway construction, aggregate production, paving, underground utilities.

Year Founded: 1976 Estab. in Alaska: 1976

907-452-5617 John Minder, CEO

Established and locally owned since 1976. Great Northwest Inc. has supported and will continue to support the Fairbanks community.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 250 Worldwide: 250

Construction |

Alaska: $60.00M Global: $60.00M

Hecla Greens Creek Mining Co. PO Box 32199 Juneau, AK 99803

Mining and mineral processing.

Year Founded: 1988 Estab. in Alaska: 1988


Mine training, scholarships, civic philanthropy. Largest property tax payer in Juneau.

Scott Hartman, Gen. Mgr.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 390 Worldwide: 390

Providing luxury accommodations, transportation and customer service to all Gray Line of Alaska, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises travelers.

Year Founded: 1965 Estab. in Alaska: 1972

Social responsibility is at the core of how we do business. We have a history of being a contributor to Alaska. We support more than 150 charitable/civic groups and use more than 1,000 vendors in Alaska.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 3,500 Worldwide: 400


Holland America - Princess 800 Fifth Ave., Suite 2600 Seattle, WA 98104

Carnival Corp.


Miami, FL

Charlie Ball, Pres.


Travel & Tourism


Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013 |

special section 2013 Corporate 100—Top Citizens of IndustryEmployees & Revenue Horizon Lines 1717 Tidewater Rd. Anchorage, AK 99501-1036

Horizon Lines Inc.


Charlotte, NC

Marion Davis, VP/Gen. Mgr., AK Division



Containership service between Tacoma, WA, and Anchorage, Kodiak, Dutch Harbor, AK. Feeder barge service to Bristol Bay and the Pribilofs. Connecting carrier service to other water, air, land carriers. Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, AK State Chamber of Commerce, Food Bank of AK, United Way, Covenant House, Armed Services YMCA of Alaska, Iditarod, and Special Olympics AK.

Year Founded: 1956 Estab. in Alaska: 1964 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 260 Worldwide: 1,800

Hotel Captain Cook 939 W. Fifth Ave. Anchorage, AK 99501-2019 907-276-6000 Walter Hickel Jr., Pres.

907-274-3835 Joel Lawrence, Pres.

Year Founded: 1964 Estab. in Alaska: 1965

United Way, United States Coast Guard Foundation, and Special Olympics Alaska.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 350 Worldwide: 350 |

Travel & Tourism

Inlet Petroleum Co. 459 W. Bluff Dr. Anchorage, AK 99501

Private athletic club, four restaurants and coffee bar, 10,000-bottle wine cellar, four-diamond dining, 546 rooms including 96 suites.

Saltchuk Resources, Inc.

For 25 years, Inlet Petroleum Company has supplied fuels, lubricants and related petroleum products to a wide array of industries and businesses.

Year Founded: 1986 Estab. in Alaska: 1986

Seattle, WA

IPC is proud to support several organizations such as the Arc of Anchorage, March of Dimes and the United Way Food Drive.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 42 Worldwide: 42 |

Oil & Gas

Yippee, it’s Bede! Life. Informed.


Bede Trantina

April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly


special section

2013 Corporate 100—Top Citizens of Industry

Jacobs 4300 B St., Suite 600 Anchorage, AK 99503



Pasadena, CA

Terry Heikkila, Dir. Pacific Rim


Industrial Services

Professional services supporting federal & energy clients. AK expertise includes environmental planning, permitting, compliance, investigation, remediation & emergency response; energy conservation (retro-commissioning); remote logistics; design; planning; risk & construction management. Support includes AWAIC benefit Ski 4 Women, Angel Tree Program, United Way, Special Olympics AK Polar Plunge, Relay for Life, Bike to Work, Society of American Military Engineers scholarships, Girl Scouts Women of Science and Technology.

Employees & Revenue

Year Founded: 1947 Estab. in Alaska: 1993 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 90 Worldwide: 65,000 Global: $10.89B

Kenworth Alaska 2838 Porcupine Dr. Anchorage, AK 99501 907-279-0602 Marshall Cymbaluk, CEO/Manager

Kenworth Northwest Inc.

Class six, seven and eight truck sales. Truck service and maintenance for all makes. Parts department for all makes of trucks.

Year Founded: 1974 Estab. in Alaska: 1974

Seattle, WA

United Way, Alaska Trucking Association, Drug awareness programs and Special Olympics.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 44 Worldwide: 365 |

Truck-Dealers Transportation

KeyBank 101 W. Benson Blvd., Suite 400 Anchorage, AK 99503



Cleveland, OH

Brian Nerland, Pres., Alaska


Lending and deposit services for consumers and businesses of all sizes, mortgage services, investment services, wealth management.

Year Founded: 1825 Estab. in Alaska: 1985

Significant investment in our communities through charitable organizations and economic development initiatives.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 140 Worldwide: 15,000

Finance, Insurance, Real Estate

Kinross Fort Knox PO Box 73726 Fairbanks, AK 99707

Kinross Gold Corp.

Fairbanks gold mining, gold producer.


Toronto, ON Canada

Donations, volunteer time, and electric rate reduction.

Dan Snodgress, VP/Gen. Mgr.


Employees & Revenue Alaska: 550 Worldwide: 8,500

Koniag Inc. 194 Alimaq Dr. Kodiak, AK 99615

Alaska Native Regional Corporation; operations include government contracting and services, property management, etc.

Year Founded: 1972 Estab. in Alaska: 1972

907-486-2530 William Anderson Jr., Pres./CEO

Koniag Education Foundation, Alutiiq Museum, Gulf of Alaska Coastal Communications Coalition, Alaska Federation of Natives, Alaska Native Arts Foundation and more.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 92 Worldwide: 792

Native Organization |

Alaska: $18.13M Global: $126.86M

Lounsbury & Associates 5300 A St. Anchorage, AK 99518

Civil engineering, land surveying, planning, construction management. Servicing local and state government, oil and gas industry and more.

Year Founded: 1949 Estab. in Alaska: 1949

907-272-5451 Jim Sawhill, Pres.

We sponsor local youth sporting teams, scholarships at UAA School of Engineering, and support other civic and nonprofit agencies.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 70 Worldwide: 70

Industrial Services |

Alaska: $10.00M

Year Founded: 1992 Estab. in Alaska: 1995



Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

special section 2013 Corporate 100—Top Citizens of IndustryEmployees & Revenue Lynden Inc. 6641 S. Airpark Pl. Anchorage, AK 99502

Multi-modal transportation and logistics.

Year Founded: 1954 Estab. in Alaska: 1954

Jim Jansen, Chairman

Red Cross of Alaska, Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum,Jr. Iditarod, Armed Services YMCA, Food Bank of Alaska, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Alzheimers Resource of Alaska and United Way of Alaska.

Transportation |

Alaska: $885.00M

Mat-Su Regional Medical Center PO Box 1687 Palmer, AK 99645

Community Health Systems

Year Founded: 1935 Estab. in Alaska: 1935


Nashville, TN

Mat-Su Regional Medical Center is an all private rooms, 74-bed, acute care facility located at 2500 South Woodworth Loop, off of Trunk Road at mile 35.5 of Parks Highway, near the intersection of the Parks and Glenn Highway interchange. Built in January of 2006.


John Lee, CEO


Free health education and screenings, donations to local charities, classroom space to health-focused support groups.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 740 Worldwide: 2,390

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 716 Worldwide: 716

Health Care |

Matanuska Electric Association Inc. 163 E. Industrial Way Palmer, AK 99645

Rural electric cooperative.

Year Founded: 1941 Estab. in Alaska: 1941

Joe Griffith, Gen. Mgr.

RoundUp program allows members to round up their bills to the nearest dollar to create a donation fund for local charities. Scholarship program provides financial assistance to members and their dependents in attending college.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 162 Worldwide: 162

Utility |

Alaska: $106.40M Global: $106.40M


• • • • • • • •

VSAT Broadcasting Land Mobile Radio (LMR) VoIP Services Mobile Applications Disaster Recovery Networks Managed Services IT Security

SUPPORT SERVICES: Network Design & Engineering Construction & Installation Project Management 24x7x365 Network Operations Center FUTARIS, formerly Alaska Telecom, has been a trusted provider of unrivaled communication services for over 30 years. We design solutions for clients in some of the world's most remote locations both on land and sea.  We have developed a well deserved reputation for quality workmanship, timely response, high safety standards, and respect for budgetary considerations. Our customized solutions are secure and scalable to meet the demands of any industry.

301 Calista Court, Suite B Anchorage, AK 99518 1-855-Futaris We are an 8(a) and DBE Certified Company

and a proudsubsidiary of Calista Corporation

April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly


special section

2013 Corporate 100—Top Citizens of Industry

Employees & Revenue

Matanuska Valley Federal Credit Union 1020 S. Bailey St. Palmer, AK 99645-6924

A local financial co-op serving members living in Alaska and Hawaii. Look for us at

Year Founded: 1948 Estab. in Alaska: 1948

907-745-4891 Al Strawn, CEO

Building better financial futures through community financial literacy outreach and the credit union philosophy of People Helping People.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 140 Worldwide: 145

Finance, Insurance, Real Estate | Facebook

Microcom 129 W. 53rd Ave. Anchorage, AK 99518-2353

Satellite communications company that delivers television, Internet, phone, and data service via satellite. Provides DISH Network, DIRECTV, HUGHES NET, and Exede to Alaska and Hawaii residences and businesses since 1984. Find us on Facebook. Microcom stays involved in the community with sponsorship and support of the following: The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Bean's Cafe, Special Olympics, Seward Sealife Center, AK Women's Heart Run, Iditarod, Junior Biathlon Ski team and several local school sports programs.

907-264-3474 Sandra Blinstrubas, Pres. Telecommunications

Year Founded: 1984 Estab. in Alaska: 1984 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 75 Worldwide: 117 | Tax planning and prep, auditing, compliance audits, financial statement preparation, business valuation, litigation support, personal financial planning, estate planning, fraud and forensic acctg, business consulting, audits of medicaid providers, internal controls and Sarbanes Oxley compliance.

Mikunda Cottrell & Co. Inc. 3601 C St., Suite 600 Anchorage, AK 99503 907-278-8878

Bean's Cafe, Abused Women's Aid in Crisis, Downtown Soup Kitchen, Habitat for Humanity, Adopt a Highway, Friday Dress Down For Charity, and donations to various local charities.

James Hasle, Pres. Finance, Insurance, Real Estate

Year Founded: 1977 Estab. in Alaska: 1977 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 103 Worldwide: 103 | Alaskan owned, non-profit coop. Delivering communications products including wireless, high-definition digital television with video-on-demand & local community content, high-speed Internet, local & long distance, IT business support, dir. & TV advertising; the only company offering rolling gigs.

MTA Inc. 1740 S. Chugach St. Palmer, AK 99645 907-745-3211

A member-owned cooperative that supports the communities we serve by collaborating with various non-profit organizations through sponsorships, donations and providing volunteers throughout Alaska.

Greg Berberich, CEO Telecommunications

Year Founded: 1953 Estab. in Alaska: 1953 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 320 Worldwide: 320

N C Machinery Co. 6450 Arctic Blvd. Anchorage, AK 99518

Harnish Group Inc.


Tukwilla, WA

John Harnish, Pres./CEO Industrial Services


Caterpillar machine sales, parts, service, and rental. Caterpillar engines for marine, power generation, truck, petroleum, and industrial applications. Sales and rental of Caterpillar and other preferred brands of rental equipment and construction supplies. NC Machinery is active throughout the state in associations including Associated General Contractors of America, Alaska Miners Association, Alaska Resource Education, Petroleum Club, and much more.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 244 Worldwide: 1,030 |

NANA Regional Corporation Inc. PO Box 49 Kotzebue, AK 99503

Alaska Native Corporation; A leader in engineering and construction; resource development; facilities management and logistics; real estate and hotel development; and information technology and telecommunications.

907-442-3301 Marie N. Greene, Pres./CEO

NANA is a sponsor of the ANSEP program, the Aqqaluk Trust, WEIO, ASAA basketball tournament, United Way, and numerous other statewide and local events.

Native Organization |

Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

Year Founded: 1926 Estab. in Alaska: 1776

Year Founded: 1972 Estab. in Alaska: 1972 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 5,300 Worldwide: 11,576 Alaska: $1.76M Global: $1.76M

special section 2013 Corporate 100—Top Citizens of IndustryEmployees & Revenue Neeser Construction Inc. 2501 Blueberry Rd. Anchorage, AK 99503

General contracting firm.

Jerry Neeser, Pres.

Healthy Alaska Natives Foundation, American Cancer Society, AWAIC, Food Bank of Alaska, Catholic Social Services, Armed Services, YMCA, Asian Alaskan Cultural Center, Salvation Army, United Way and many others.

Construction |

Northland Services Inc. PO Box 24527 Seattle, WA 98124

Marine transportation services to and from Alaska.


Larry Stauffer, Pres./CEO

Sponsorship of Iditarod, Nome; the Golden North Salmon Derby, Southeast; Sockeye Classic, Western Alaska; Boys & Girls Club, Anchorage; Cystic Fibrosis Foundation; Multiple Sclerosis Society and more.

Transportation |

Northrim Bank PO Box 241489 Anchorage, AK 99524

Northrim Bancorp Inc.

Northrim Bank is a commercial bank, headquartered in Anchorage, Alaska, committed to providing Customer First Service. We specialize in serving businesses, professionals, and individual Alaskans.


Anchorage, AK

Joseph Beedle, Pres./CEO



Finance, Insurance, Real Estate

Northrim Bank is dedicated to the communities where we do business through our active lending programs, commercial investments, and our ongoing commitment to supporting local programs.

Year Founded: 1974 Estab. in Alaska: 1974 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 93 Worldwide: 97

Year Founded: 1977 Estab. in Alaska: 1977 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 150 Worldwide: 380

Year Founded: 1990 Estab. in Alaska: 1990 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 250 Worldwide: 257 |

Alaska’s Premiere Business Publication for 29 Years Make us your home page! Find latest statewide business and industry news. Get government news. Statewide Calendar – Post your event! Read past issues in our archives.

Scan to read articles from past issues online for FREE! Advertising: (907) 276-4373 • Subscriptions: (907) 257-2901 or

April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly


special section

2013 Corporate 100—Top Citizens of Industry

Olgoonik Corporation 3201 C St., Suite 700 Anchorage, AK 99503

Government/commercial contracting: Oilfield support, construction, logistics/supply chain management, operations/maintenance, environmental management, and technical security services.

Year Founded: 1973 Estab. in Alaska: 1973

907-562-8728 Howard Patkotak, Pres.

Olgoonik Corporation and its subsidiaries support community activities, promote continuing education and provide shareholder jobs, training and scholarships.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 160 Worldwide: 700

Native Organization |

Pacific Alaska Freightways Inc. 431 E. 104th Ave. Anchorage, AK 99515

Transports freight between the Lower 48 and Alaska. Trucking services in Alaska.

Ed Fitzgerald, CEO

Rotary, chambers of commerce, American Cancer Society, Special Olympics, youth sports programs, YMCA, Alaska food banks, Boy Scouts of America, youth scholarship funds, Boys & Girls Club and more.


Peak Oilfield Service Co. LLC 2525 C St., Suite 201 Anchorage, AK 99503

Oilfield general contracting, heavy civil construction, ice-road construction, heavy crane support, drilling support, all-terrain vehicle transportation and remote camps, power generation and communication facility fabrication.




Employees & Revenue

Year Founded: 1961 Estab. in Alaska: 1961 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 55 Worldwide: 115

Year Founded: 1987 Estab. in Alaska: 1987 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 553 Worldwide: 745

Mike O'Connor, Pres.

United Way, The Alliance, Resource Development Council and various chambers of commerce.

Industrial Services |

PND Engineers Inc. 1506 W. 36th Ave. Anchorage, AK 99503

General civil, structural, geotechnical, arctic, marine, and coastal engineering; survey; permitting; hydrology; inspection; Q/A; and value engineering, among others.

907-561-1011 John Pickering, Pres.

Engineering (UAA), Boy Scouts of America, Boys & Girls Clubs, Catholic Social Services, Citywide Cleanup, Society of Women Engineers, and United Way.

Industrial Services

Alaska: $23.10M Global: $31.30M

Providence Health & Services Alaska 3760 Piper St., Suite 2021 Anchorage, AK 99508

The Sisters of Providence first brought health care to Nome in 1902 during the Gold Rush. Today, Providence serves Alaskans in five communities: Anchorage, Mat-Su, Kodiak, Seward and Valdez.

Year Founded: 1902 Estab. in Alaska: 1902

907-212-3145 Bruce Lamoureux, Chief Exec.

At the heart of who we are is a deep commitment to the poor and vulnerable in our communities, from providing hot dinners for the homeless to advocating for better health care for the uninsured.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 4,500 Worldwide: 65,921

Health Care |

Pruhs Construction 2193 Viking Dr. Anchorage, AK 99501

Heavy civil contractor, roads, airports, site work, underground utilities, industrial.

Year Founded: 1958 Estab. in Alaska: 1958

907-279-1020 Dana Pruhs, CEO

Support of charitable organizations including Providence Hospital, Monroe Catholic High School in Fairbanks, Catholic Social Services, etc.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 120 Worldwide: 120

General Contractors |

Alaska: $42.00M

Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

Year Founded: 1979 Estab. in Alaska: 1979 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 80 Worldwide: 113

special section 2013 Corporate 100—Top Citizens of IndustryEmployees & Revenue Ryan Air Inc. 6400 Carl Brady Dr. Anchorage, AK 99502

Air cargo, scheduled and charter operations, passeger charter, contract ground services and support.

Year Founded: 1953 Estab. in Alaska: 1953

907-562-2227 Wilfred "Boyuck" Ryan, Pres.

We sponsor sports teams at the community level; dog-mushing event sponsors; we provide fundraising events in villages and volunteers.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 100 Worldwide: 100

Transportation |

Seekins Ford Lincoln Inc. 1625 Seekins Ford Dr. Fairbanks, AK 99701

Auto dealership providing services to purchase, finance, or service a new or pre-owned Lincoln.

Year Founded: 1977 Estab. in Alaska: 1977

Ralph Seekins, Pres.

Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce, AK State Chamber of Commerce, United Way/Tanana Valley, UAF Athletics/Nanooks, American Heart Association, Local Military Support, youth sports, Ice Dogs, AQHA, Drive One For UR School, Fairbanks Arts and more.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 119 Worldwide: 121

Retail & Wholesale Trade |

Sheraton Anchorage Hotel & Spa 401 E. Sixth Ave. Anchorage, AK 99501

Authentic Alaskan Hotel, crisp comfortable rooms, 42-inch TVs, mini refrigerators. Luxurious day spa, meeting space, catering services, event planning, weddings. Museum Quality Alaskan Native Art.


907-276-8700 Jon Kranock, Gen. Mgr. Travel & Tourism

Remington Hospitality Dallas, TX

ASYMCA, Boys & Girls Clubs, Chamber, ATIA, AHMA, ABTA, NACE, MPI, RDC, and Visit Anchorage.

Alaska: $74.56M Global: $74.56M

Year Founded: 1979 Estab. in Alaska: 1979 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 150 Worldwide: 150 |

Alaska State Chamber of Commerce Advocating on behalf of businesses across Alaska. Visit or call 907-278-2733 to learn more about what membership can do for you.

April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly


special section

2013 Corporate 100—Top Citizens of Industry

Span-Alaska Transportation Inc. 2040 E. 79th Ave. Anchorage, AK 99507

Employees & Revenue

Freight transportation from all Lower 48 points to Alaska, less than truckload (LTL) and truckload. In-state overnight services from Anchorage to Fairbanks and the Kenai Peninsula.

Year Founded: 1978 Estab. in Alaska: 1978

Mike Landry, Pres.

Annual supporter of Alaska food banks, Big Brother/Big Sister, AWAIC and Covenant House.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 67 Worldwide: 120

Transportation |

Spenard Builders Supply Inc. 840 K St., Suite 200 Anchorage, AK 99501

Provides a full line of building materials and home-improvement products to fill the needs of residential and commercial contractors.


907-261-9105 Ed Waite, Senior VP

ProBuild Holdings Inc. Denver, CO

Retail & Wholesale Trade

Sumitomo Metal Mining Pogo LLC PO Box 145 Delta Junction, AK 99737 907-895-2841 Toshihito Toyoshima, Pres.

Spenard Builder Supply Inc.'s community efforts are with Habitat For Humanity, March of Dimes, Bean's CafĹ˝, Iditarod, Yukon Quest, Alaska State Fair and various local organizations throughout the state.

Year Founded: 1952 Estab. in Alaska: 1952 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 700 Worldwide: 10,000 |

Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd

Operate an underground gold mine in Interior Alaska, safely producing approximately 350,000 ounces of gold annually.

Year Founded: 2005 Estab. in Alaska: 2005

Tokyo Japan

Heavily involved in the communities of Fairbanks and Delta Junction with gifts of volunteer and financial support. Active supporter of UAF and vocational education statewide.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 195 Worldwide: 320

Teck Resources Limited

One of the world's largest producers of zinc concentrates.

Year Founded: 1989 Estab. in Alaska: 1980

Vancouver, BC Canada

Education, youth leadership, and community investment. |

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 450

TelAlaska is a full service telecommunications company serving 25 rural communities and providing advanced network services to urban markets.

Year Founded: 1968 Estab. in Alaska: 1968

Alaska Zoo, Unalaska Fire Fighters Ball, Seward Senior Center, Nome Arts Council, Cooper Landing Museum, and many more.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 100 Worldwide: 100


Teck Alaska-Red Dog Mine 3105 Lakeshore Dr., Bldg. A, Suite 101 Anchorage, AK 99517 907-266-4567 Henri Letient, Gen. Mgr. Mining

TelAlaska 201 E. 56th Ave. Anchorage, AK 99518



American Broadband Communications

Brenda Shepard, Pres./CEO

Charlotte, NC

Telecommunications |

The Tatitlek Corporation 561 E. 36th Ave. Anchorage, AK 99503

TTC is an AK Native Village Corp. with numerous operating subsidiaries that provide quality services to customers in four core business lines: Professional Technical Services, Installation Support Services, Knowledge Management and Construction Services.

907-278-4000 Roy Totemoff, Pres./CEO Native Organization


Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

Active in a variety of sponsorships and community involvement, including The Copper Mountain Foundation providing scholarships, Tatitlek Culture Week, Alaska YMCA, Salute to the Military, etc. |

Year Founded: 1973 Estab. in Alaska: 1973 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 58 Worldwide: 766 Alaska: $41.00M Global: $133.00M

special section 2013 Corporate 100—Top Citizens of IndustryEmployees & Revenue Three Bears Alaska Inc. 445 N. Pittman Rd., Suite B Wasilla, AK 99623

Retail sales including groceries; hunting, fishing and camping products; and guns and gear.


Involved in all local communities surrounding our stores and offices.

David Weisz, Pres./CEO |

Retail & Wholesale Trade

Totem Ocean Trailer Express 2511 Tidewater Rd. Anchorage, AK 99501-1044 907-276-5868 George Lowery, AK Dir.

Totem Ocean Trailer Express Federal Way, WA

Year Founded: 1980 Estab. in Alaska: 32 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 304 Worldwide: 350 Alaska: $106.11M Global: $121.09M

A privately held Alaska corporation and vessel-operating common carrier. Runs a fleet of roll-on/roll-off trailer ships between the ports of Tacoma, Wash., and Anchorage.

Year Founded: 1975 Estab. in Alaska: 1975

AK Food Bank, ALPAR, United Way, Seward Polar Bear Fest, UAF, Providence Children's Hospital, Anchorage Concert Association, Imaginarium, Alaska SeaLife Center, Anchorage Museum, Bean's Cafe and more.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 40 Worldwide: 180


Udelhoven Oilfield System Service 184 E. 53rd Ave. Anchorage, AK 99518-1222

Oilfield services, construction management, electrical and mechanical system installation.

Year Founded: 1970 Estab. in Alaska: 1970

907-344-1577 Jim Udelhoven, CEO

American Diabetes, American Heart Association annual Heart Walk, Junior Achievement, Green Star, United Way and much more.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 591 Worldwide: 660

Industrial Services |


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TOPICS INCLUDE: • Update on Legislative Outreach

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• Board Ethics Training


• Update from ANCSA Regional Association


contact: Nichola Ruedy phone: 907-771-8205 email:

FROM 5-7 P.M.


April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly


special section

2013 Corporate 100—Top Citizens of Industry UIC has over 2,000 employees and provides services to clients in a variety of industries, including construction, architecture and engineering, regulatory consulting, information technology, marine operations, logistics, and maintenance and manufacturing.

Ukpeagvik Inupiat Corporation PO Box 890 Barrow, AK 99723

Educational funding through scholarship program, Barrow radio station KBRW, Barrow Whaling Captains Association, Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission, Barrow Whalers Athletic Foundation, Healthy Alaska Natives Foundation, Alaska Federation of Natives, Native Youth Olympics and many more.

907-852-4460 Anthony Edwardsen, Pres. Native Organization

Employees & Revenue

Year Founded: 1973 Estab. in Alaska: 1973 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 475 Worldwide: 2,115 |

Unisea PO Box 97019 Redmond, WA 98073 425-881-8181 Terry Shaff, Pres.

Nippon Suisan Kaisha

The largest of the company's Alaska operations consist of the state of the art processing facilities in Dutch Harbor. We process surimi and fillets from pollock we also do crab, cod and halibut.

Tokyo Japan

Provide seafood to Seashare in order to feed the hungry. Do a yearly fund raiser for the United Way, Ronald McDonald House, Red Cross, The Salvation Army and the YWCA.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 1,369 Worldwide: 1,430


Alaska: $176.92M Global: $182.07M

UNIT COMPANY 620 E. Whitney Rd. Anchorage, AK 99501

Commercial general contractor.

Year Founded: 1977 Estab. in Alaska: 1977


Various community involvement with kids sporting organizations, Covenant House, and CFMA scholarship involvement.

Michael Fall, Pres.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 50 Worldwide: 50 |


URS 700 G St., Suite 500 Anchorage, AK 99501

Alaska: $35.00M Global: $35.00M


Civil/structural/transportation engineering design services, analysis/response, containment sites, cultural/historical/ archaeological/land use/noise & threatened/endangered species studies, fisheries/geology/soils expertise, GIS/AutoCAD, Section4f evaluations, wetland delineation, wildlife.

Joe Hegna, Alaska Ops Mgr./VP

URS Alaska is a Green Star Rated company.


Usibelli Coal Mine Inc. PO Box 1000 Healy, AK 99743

Coal mine and affiliated companies.

Year Founded: 1943 Estab. in Alaska: 1943

Joseph E. Usibelli Jr., Pres.

UAF, United Way, Denali School District, ELC Daycare, Kids in Motion, Tri-Valley Com. Library, Healy Hockey, Morris Thompson Cultural Center, Tri-Valley VFD, Girl Scouts, Boys & Girls Club and many more.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 130 Worldwide: 130

Mining |

Alaska: $86.00M Global: $86.00M

USKH Inc. 2515 A St. Anchorage, AK 99503

USKH is a full-service, multi-discipline architectural and engineering firm. Services include: architecture; civil, structural, transportation, mechanical & electrical engineering; surveying & GIS; landscape architecture; planning; & environmental services.

Year Founded: 1972 Estab. in Alaska: 1972


907-276-4245 Timothy Vig, Pres./Principal Industrial Services


Year Founded: 1974 Estab. in Alaska: 1975

Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

USKH is thoroughly invested in our communities, providing support for the United Way, American Heart Association, Tundra Women's Coalition, and Bean's Cafe, as well as support for the AEDC's Live/ Work/Play community involvement campaign.

Year Founded: 1904 Estab. in Alaska: 1948 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 100 Worldwide: 50,000

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 95 Worldwide: 131 Global: $25.50M |

special section 2013 Corporate 100—Top Citizens of IndustryEmployees & Revenue Watterson Construction Co. 6500 Interstate Cir. Anchorage, AK 99518

General building contractor. Projects include 2 helicopter hangars at Ft. Wainwright; COF at Ft. Richardson; Alaska Oncology tenant improvements; UAA Science Bldg renovation Phase 3; ANTHC tenant improvements; Doyon Utilities- Ft Wainwright.


Year Founded: 1981 Estab. in Alaska: 1981 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 85 Worldwide: 86

Bill Watterson, Pres.

ABC of Alaska, Alaska Zoo; Special Olympics; March of Dimes; S.A.M.E.; and Ft. Wainwright Command.

Construction |

Alaska: $89.00M Global: $89.00M

Wells Fargo has 900 team members in Alaska who serve customers through a network of 60 banking, mortgage, insurance and investment offices, 120 ATMs and online.

Year Founded: 1852 Estab. in Alaska: 1916

Each year, Wells Fargo invests $1.5 million in more than 300 nonprofits and schools in Alaska. Alaska team members volunteered 8,000 hours in 2012.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 900 Worldwide: 265,000

Finance, Insurance, Real Estate

Global: $86.00B

WHPacific Inc. 300 W. 31st Ave. Anchorage, AK 99503

Architecture and multidiscipline engineering planning and design; survey and mapping; planning, GIS, permitting and grant writing; environmental site assessments and natural resource services; geologists and environmental scientists; project management and construction administration services.

Year Founded: 1981 Estab. in Alaska: 1981

Wells Fargo 301 W. Northern Lights Blvd. Anchorage, AK 99503

Wells Fargo & Company


San Francisco, CA

Joe Everhart, AK Region Pres.


907-339-6500 Robert Macomber, Pres. Services

NANA Development Corporation Anchorage, AK

Adopt-A Road, Bean's Cafe, Food Bank of Alaska, ARC of Anchorage, American Heart Association, MATHCounts, Habitat for Humanity, Friends of Pets, United Way, and Green Star. |

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 59 Worldwide: 320 Alaska: $16.01M Global: $57.20M

April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly


special section

Corporate 100

2013 Corporate 100 by Business Category and Total Employment figures CONSTRUCTION ■ Davis Constructors & Engineers Inc. ■ Granite Construction Company ■ Great Northwest Inc. ■ Neeser Construction Inc. ■ Pruhs Construction ■ UNIT COMPANY ■ Watterson Construction Co.


Alaska Housing Finance Corp. Alaska USA Federal Credit Union Credit Union 1 Denali Alaskan Federal Credit Union First National Bank Alaska KeyBank Matanuska Valley Federal Credit Union Mikunda Cottrell & Co. Inc. Northrim Bank Wells Fargo


Alaska Regional Hospital Fairbanks Memorial Hospital Mat-Su Regional Medical Center Providence Health & Services Alaska

INDUSTRIAL SERVICES ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ 90

Alaska Ship & Drydock ASRC Energy Services Inc. CH2M HILL Construction Machinery Industrial DOWL HKM Jacobs Lounsbury & Associates N C Machinery Co. Peak Oilfield Service Co. LLC PND Engineers Inc. Udelhoven Oilfield System Service URS USKH Inc. Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

■ WHPacific Inc.

MANUFACTURING ■ Alaskan Brewing Co.

MINING Coeur Alaska Inc. Hecla Greens Creek Mining Co. Kinross Fort Knox Sumitomo Metal Mining Pogo LLC ■ Teck Alaska-Red Dog Mine ■ Usibelli Coal Mine Inc. ■ ■ ■ ■

NATIVE ORGANIZATION ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

Afognak Native Corp./Alutiiq Ahtna Inc. Aleut Corporation Arctic Slope Regional Corporation Bering Straits Native Corporation Bristol Bay Native Corporation Calista Corporation Chenega Corporation Chugach Alaska Corporation Cook Inlet Region Inc. Doyon, Limited Koniag Inc. NANA Regional Corporation Inc. Olgoonik Corporation The Tatitlek Corporation Ukpeagvik Inupiat Corporation

OIL & GAS ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. ConocoPhillips Alaska Inc. Flint Hills Resources Alaska LLC Inlet Petroleum Co.

RETAIL & WHOLESALE TRADE ■ Alaska Commercial Co. ■ Alaska Industrial Hardware Inc. ■ Anchorage Chrysler Dodge Center ■ Craig Taylor Equipment

■ ■ ■ ■

Seekins Ford Lincoln Inc. Spenard Builders Supply Inc. Three Bears Alaska Inc. Carrs Safeway

SEAFOOD ■ American Seafoods Group LLC ■ Unisea


Alaska Communications AT&T GCI Microcom MTA Inc. TelAlaska

■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

Alaska Airlines Alaska Railroad Corp. American Fast Freight Inc. Carlile Transportation Systems CPD Alaska LLC (Crowley) Era Alaska Era Helicopters LLC Horizon Lines Kenworth Alaska Lynden Inc. Northland Services Inc. Pacific Alaska Freightways Inc. Ryan Air Inc. Span-Alaska Transportation Inc. Totem Ocean Trailer Express


Holland America—Princess Hotel Captain Cook Sheraton Anchorage Hotel & Spa Alyeska Resort

UTILITY ■ ENSTAR Natural Gas Co. ■ Matanuska Electric Association Inc.

Company Afognak Native Corp./Alutiiq Ahtna Inc. Alaska Airlines

Total Employees Alaska Worldwide Employees (including AK)

Total Employees Alaska Worldwide Employees (including AK)


179 276 1605

4500 1705 9947

Hecla Greens Creek Mining Co. Holland America - Princess Horizon Lines

390 3500 260

390 400 1800

Alaska Commercial Co.



Hotel Captain Cook



Alaska Communications Alaska Housing Finance Corp. Alaska Industrial Hardware Inc. Alaska Railroad Corp. Alaska Regional Hospital

830 320 197 685 900

850 320 197 685 900

Inlet Petroleum Co. Jacobs Kenworth Alaska KeyBank Kinross Fort Knox

42 90 44 140 550

42 65000 365 15000 8500

Alaska Ship & Drydock



Koniag Inc.



Alaska USA Federal Credit Union Alaskan Brewing Co.

1360 79

1728 97

Lounsbury & Associates Lynden Inc.

70 740

70 2390

Aleut Corporation Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. Alyeska Resort American Fast Freight Inc.

157 800 650 100

518 800 650 380

Matanuska Electric Association Inc. Matanuska Valley Federal Credit Union Mat-Su Regional Medical Center Microcom

162 140 716 75

162 145 716 117

American Seafoods Group LLC Anchorage Chrysler Dodge Center Arctic Slope Regional Corporation ASRC Energy Services Inc. AT&T Bering Straits Native Corporation BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. Bristol Bay Native Corporation Calista Corporation Carlile Transportation Systems Carrs Safeway CH2M HILL Chenega Corporation

67 93 4525 3305 549 395 2300 938 272 500 2950 1960 532

1888 93 10782 4836 241130 1096 80000 3485 1648 650 21000 30000 5279

Mikunda Cottrell & Co. Inc. MTA Inc. N C Machinery Co. NANA Regional Corporation Inc. Neeser Construction Inc. Northland Services Inc. Northrim Bank Olgoonik Corporation Pacific Alaska Freightways Inc. Peak Oilfield Service Co. LLC PND Engineers Inc. Providence Health & Services Alaska Pruhs Construction

103 320 244 5300 93 150 250 160 55 553 80 4500 120

103 320 1030 11576 97 380 257 700 115 745 113 65921 120

Chugach Alaska Corporation Coeur Alaska Inc. ConocoPhillips Alaska Inc. Construction Machinery Industrial Cook Inlet Region Inc. Craig Taylor Equipment Credit Union 1 Crowley Petroleum Distribution Inc. Davis Constructors & Engineers Inc. Denali Alaskan Federal Credit Union DOWL HKM Doyon, Limited ENSTAR Natural Gas Co. Era Alaska Era Helicopters LLC Fairbanks Memorial Hospital First National Bank Alaska Flint Hills Resources Alaska LLC GCI Granite Construction Company Great Northwest Inc.

604 300 1000 108 81 55 315 500 150 315 149 1331 200 960 175 1400 694 132 1734 55 250

4993 1911 16500 108 81 55 317 4500 150 320 341 2498 200 960 790 36000 694

Ryan Air Inc. Seekins Ford Lincoln Inc. Sheraton Anchorage Hotel & Spa Span-Alaska Transportation Inc. Spenard Builders Supply Inc. Sumitomo Metal Mining Pogo LLC Teck Alaska-Red Dog Mine TelAlaska The Tatitlek Corporation Three Bears Alaska Inc. Totem Ocean Trailer Express Udelhoven Oilfield System Service Ukpeagvik Inupiat Corporation Unisea UNIT COMPANY URS Usibelli Coal Mine Inc. USKH Inc. Watterson Construction Co. Wells Fargo WHPacific Inc.

100 119 150 67 700 195 450 100 58 304 40 591 475 1369 50 100 130 95 85 900 59

100 121 150 120 10000 320

1734 4000 250

100 766 350 180 660 2115 1430 50 50000 130 131 86 265000 320

April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly


special section

Corporate 100

Photo credit: ©Jake Neher, KBRW Radio

Attorney and board member for the Bird Treatment and Learning Center, Blair Christensen helps release a snowy owl into the wild at Barrow recently. Assisting Christensen is Barrow Mayor Robert Harcharek.

Working Hard, Playing Hard Professionals find fulfillment pursuing their avocations


ould you recognize your doctor behind that bass thumping out bluegrass music? Or your attorney in mud boots with binoculars around her neck following the winged and feathered creatures? How about your human resources executive blowing steadily into a double-reed instrument as notes of an etude soothe your ears? Maybe your landscape architect under the welding hood attaching things together that only a mad scientist would relate to each other? These


Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

By Gail West are real scenarios for Alaska professionals at play. What does a work week for one of them look like? For many, it’s long, focused and demanding—meetings, chasing business opportunities, dealing with employee issues, and always facing loads of papers that need attention. To leave work behind and either ease or refocus the mind onto another entire avenue is both restful and stimulating, according to Mary Tesch, senior vice president of administration for the Tati-

tlek Corp., an Alaska Native village corporation with a nationwide operation and hundreds of employees. A member of the corporation’s executive management Mary Tesch team, Tesch is responsible for human resources, records management, information technology, administration and safety. She also



Alaska Public Media Making a More Informed and Connected Life Possible for all Alaskans


laska Public Media is a new name for an old favorite— public broadcasting in Southcentral Alaska, with partners across the state. Formerly known as Alaska Public Telecommunications Inc., the company in mid-March launched a rebranding campaign to change the old name to the more descriptive Alaska Public Media. From its roots in the founding of KAKM television, the company has been filling the airwaves since 1975 with quality entertainment, news and public affairs, educational programs, and dozens of local productions. KSKA-FM radio came along in 1978. Public radio and television in Anchorage merged to become Alaska Public Telecommunications Inc. in 1993. The Alaska Public Radio Network, with 26 member stations from Ketchikan to Kotzebue, joined the family in 2004. Digital operations developed into, one of the state’s best-traveled websites. And in 2012, KAKM teamed up with KTOO-Juneau and KYUK-Bethel to form a unified public television service. That multi-channel service features the PBS-dominated main stream,

how-to and cooking shows on the Create channel, and the 360 North channel of Alaska-based programming developed at KTOO. A visit to gives an introduction to the range of programming found on Alaska Public Media. On a recent winter weekend: The APRN page featured news headlines, links to 26 station web pages highlighting local news in communities, plus APRN programs Talk of Alaska, AK, 300 Villages, and the flagship statewide news show, Alaska News Nightly. The KSKA page showed metro news headlines, NPR program highlights, a full program schedule, and promos for locally-produced shows such as Stage Talk, Night Music, Soul to Soul and Algo Nuevo. The television page (KAKM) gives highlights from the Alaska Edition public affairs show; PBS documentaries; plus regular shows like Nova, Nature and Frontline; and, of course, the international sensation Downton Abbey. Finally, there’s TownSquare 49, a web-based forum for citizen and community voices of every stripe. Developed in partnership with the Alaska Community Foundation and the PAID


Knight Foundation, TownSquare 49 is a wide-open opportunity for quality writing, audio and video. This day’s material included a first-person account of how a Spenard bar owner became a mountain climber who scaled the highest peaks on six of the seven continents; a spotlight interview by Sen. Lisa Murkowski of World War II veteran Father Norman Elliott; a story about the Katmai volcano eruption of 1912; an account by United Way of Anchorage about its 2-1-1 call-forhelp social services line; and a special report on Asian energy markets from the Alaska World Affairs Council. These are just glimpses of the kind of work you’ll find every day on Alaska Public Media’s digital and broadcast platforms. Alaska Public Media and its partner stations offer a cornucopia of ideas, information, programs and production. The five brands – KSKA, KAKM, APRN, APTV and – stand side-by-side in one organization. With the new name Alaska Public Media, they stand together under one flag.

Alaska Public Media 3877 University Drive Anchorage, AK 99508 Phone 907.550.8400 Fax 907.550.8401

Full Sail Band, including orthopedic surgeon Dr. Peter Schaab, brings rockin’ bluegrass music to folk festivals, weddings and a variety of sites around Alaska. From left: Bill Yeagle on the mandolin, Doug Shutte on the banjo, Schaab on the bass and Tony Elder on the guitar. ©Jacqui Yeagle

helps to train new managers and corporate leaders. “Our executive management team works a lot of long hours during the week,” Tesch says. “We also travel a lot working with Tatitlek projects all over the Lower 48.” Tesch says she’s also very involved with the Human Resources Certification Institute, which provides certification and accreditation to industry professionals, and is a past president of the Anchorage Chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management. Even though Tesch spends long hours with her job, she says Tatitlek stresses work-life balance—so she also spends time playing oboe with the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra. Prior to working with Tatitlek, Tesch spent 20 years with Chugach Electric Association as the vice president of human resources, actively involved with employee relations and union negotiations. All during that time, her off-work passion was music. “My undergraduate degree was in music performance,” Tesch says, but her first job was in HR at Children’s Hospital in Denver. After that, she went on to obtain her master’s degree in human resources management. Playing music, though, “is like a whole different side of a person that has nothing to do with work, and it gives me a great deal of personal satisfaction. It puts a balance in my life that’s important.”

Surgical Instruments for String Instruments Music is also a passion and an avocation for an Anchorage orthopedic surgeon, 94

Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

Dr. Peter Schaab. Schaab is the bass player in Full Sail, a five-piece bluegrass band that plays at venues in Anchorage and at folk festivals around Alaska. Picking up the big instrument about six years ago after rekindling his love of music at an Anchorage folk festival, Schaab began his bluegrass co-career by taking lessons in Anchorage. “I found I really liked listening to the bass,” Schaab says. “I thought I might be able to accompany other people and have the pleasure of playing with a little less skill. It seems there’s usually a need for a bass player.” After taking his lessons as far as his teacher, who was far more proficient at other instruments, thought they could go, his teacher pointed Schaab toward a music camp in Colorado Springs. “The camp had an exceptional bass player,” Schaab says, “and I took lessons for about three or four hours every day for a week. I attended that camp twice before I joined a group.” Schaab’s first attempt at playing with a band was with a group calling themselves 162 Bluegrass. There, he met Bill Yeagle, a mandolin player who has participated in several bluegrass bands in Anchorage. “Bill gave me a little tutoring in bass and in singing, then six months later asked me to join his group. That was a year ago and I had to jump from knowing about five songs to memorizing about 75.” Schaab’s medical practice consists of a week full of demanding days--usually at least two of those days performing surgery. Occasionally, he says, he’ll also work a weekend day. He’s had his own practice for the past 18 years, following

three years on the Navajo reservation in Gallup, N.M., four years in an orthopedic residency in Albuquerque, and five years with the U.S. Public Health Service in Alaska. Even with his busy work schedule, Schaab says there isn’t a day that goes by that he doesn’t pick up his bass and play for 20 minutes to, sometimes, three hours. “I like the sound of it and it’s using the doctor part of my brain to do something else. When you get a groove going with the music, it’s really fun. Playing gives you a new level of awareness and challenges your brain with something new,” Schaab says. “The other band members have been playing for about 25 years. I’m still the new guy.”

Soaring with Birds of Prey The attorney in the mud boots—or maybe the hiking boots, depending on the weather—is Blair Christensen, a self-employed attorney who works with clients on a contract basis. If a firm needs help with specific projects, Christensen says she can step in and do research or handle whatever other legal jobs need doing. She’s done that in the past for a wide variety of clients, including firms handling civil, criminal, and labor and employment law; and for public defenders. Her average week would include a wide range of tasks. “I may spend hours at the legal library reading documents, researching various legal issues, writing substantial memos, looking through files and— generally—burying myself in documents,” Christensen says. “I could be



$1,000,000 + in combined employee and corporate gifts


$100,000 + in combined employee and corporate gifts Alaska Communications* Alyeska Pipeline Service Company* Anchorage School District Charitable Giving Campaign CIRI* Doyon Drilling, Inc.* Enstar Natural Gas Company ExxonMobil First National Bank Alaska GCI Lynden, Inc.

NANA Family of Companies: NANA Construction NANA Development Corporation NANA Management Services NANA Oilfield Services, Inc. NANA Regional Corporation NANA WorleyParsons Purcell Security WHPacific, Inc.

Northrim Bank* Peak Oilfield Service Company

Pioneer Natural Resources Alaska, Inc. Providence Health & Services Alaska* State of Alaska SHARE Charitable Campaign UPS* Wells Fargo * Indicates Dramatic Increase: 10% or more over previous year. For a list of all of our partner companies, visit

To learn how you can join these and hundreds of other Anchorage companies who are advancing Education, Income, and Health to improve lives and build a stronger community for us all, visit

United Way of Anchorage

doing research for litigation or answering a question about a legal issue. It just runs the gamut.” Before going into private practice, Christensen clerked for Judge Walter Carpeneti and worked in Anchorage and California. She earned her law degree from the University of California at Davis and passed the Alaska Bar in 2003, she says. UC Davis lies at the root of her love of all feathered things, particularly raptors. The School of Veterinary Medicine at the university is the home of the California Raptor Center, and Christensen became a regular at the center. “I got interested in larger hunting birds,” she says, “and slowly got into birding. I’ve become an avid birder in Alaska.” A former president of the Anchorage Audubon Society, Christensen now serves on the board of the Bird Treatment and Learning Center. “Once you become interested in birds, you start to notice all the differences,” she says. “It becomes a passion. You notice the colors, the markings, how sharp their talons are and how beautifully they fly and hunt.” At Bird TLC, Christensen spends the

majority of her time on board work, but says she’s looking forward to the day when she’s no longer on the board and can participate in the program that takes birds from the center into schools to educate students. “My mother took us on many wildlife excursions when I was young,” she says, “and it sparked a real interest. To do the same for another young child would be just fabulous. “Birding allows me to educate myself on something completely different from my chosen profession. It reminds you of your place in the world and lets you know there’s so much more to learn. It lets me explore another whole facet of myself. “There’s a tendency in people to let our work become all encompassing. For me, birding reminds me that I’m not my job and not to get bogged down.”

Focusing on Art Landscape architect Dwayne Adams, a principal and director of Planning and Landscape Architecture with USKH Inc., a multi-discipline design firm in Alaska, has worked in his field for

nearly 40 years. After graduating from Texas A&M, Adams served in the U.S. Air Force for seven years, three of them at Elmendorf Air Force Base. He’s been an Dwayne Adams avid Alaskan ever since, having owned the firm Land Design North with a partner for 20 years. Adams says his work week is usually 40 to 50 hours long, dealing with staff or projects and addressing client issues. “I don’t get to mess around with the creative as much as I used to,” Adams says. “That, now, belongs to others.” Instead, Adams looks to three creative pursuits outside of his profession—painting, poetry and, as Adams phrases it, “creating yard art.” “Painting is a real puzzle,” Adams says. “Watercolors in particular: First, it’s a very unforgiving medium, so it demands complete attention. You have to lay the colors down in certain ways and you have to understand that when you start--it has to be the right color at

Building Alaska for 30 years

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Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

PHONE: (907) 561-1840

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the right time or you lose the ability to control the painting. When I’m painting, the rest of the world just goes away, so it’s very liberating.” Adams says he’s painted seriously for about eight years and has twice been chosen to participate in the Alaska Watercolor Society’s juried art show. He’s also had a First Friday showing. Yard art offers Adams some of the same challenges as painting does, he says. “If you’re working with a welding bead, you have to be able to manipulate it so you have to stay focused.” Although Adams adds that he wouldn’t call himself a welder, he agrees that he does “adhere metal under high temperatures.” “The fun of creating yard art,” he says, “is taking a material and abstracting that to create something that is completely alien to its current form. It’s in looking at a piece and seeing what it could become, he says. “Besides, all the smoke and fire, sparks and noise is a huge testosterone rush,” he laughs. “I feel like I’m Thor!” With all the powers the legendary Thor had, however, the creation of poetry wasn’t one of them. Adams also wedges

Sweet Gifts of 2011 Did you know me when in flower? Why else to put forth nectar? And fool the bee in morning hour To be thy pollen bearer.

Did you know me in the flesh? Why else to be such fruited mass? To tempt my lips to taste the fresh Cool pulp by way my tongue to pass

Did you know me in the pome? As flower withered bearing? The fruit to be the growing home Of coming friend’s gift sharing.

Did you know me in the air? While jetting north to someplace where Sweet fresh fruit is held so dear And loves the taste of apple, pear.

Did you know me in the seed? How else to know my pleasures? To know desire and close held need And cool fresh nectared treasure.

Yes you knew, I’m sure it’s true That from the orchard, pasture, My throat awaited syruped brew And more the friends’ sweet gesture.

time into his busy schedule to create with words as well as with paint and heat. “I love playing with words,” he says, “taking an obscure meaning and stretching and working with it. Words are plastic; you can do things with them. I can lose myself in a poem or a watercolor for hours.” As the old saw goes: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Many of today’s professionals are rounding out

their working lives with very creative and meaningful avocations. Adams says a friend sends him an annual gift of pears and apples. In return, he creates a poem. The above poem “Sweet Gifts of 2011” was in response to a recent gift.  Gail West is a freelance author living in Anchorage.

Call (907) 344-0101 or go to for more information

April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly


special section

Corporate 100

© Clark Mishler

The Anchorage Symphony Orchestra practicing at the PAC.

Anchorage Symphony Orchestra Local musicians ‘play on’ to make Anchorage a world-class stage By Mari Gallion


he Anchorage Symphony Orchestra was first formed in 1946—before Alaska was even a state—when 17 local musicians started meeting on a weekly basis to play music. Today, the ASO is a group of 80 professional musicians. Headed by conductor Randall Craig Fleisher, the ASO is noteworthy not only for its crowd-pleasing performances, but also for some exciting innovations that distinguish ASO as a world-class and inventive orchestra. According to board member Dr. George Rhyneer, “This orchestra, in addition to putting on really fantastic performances,


Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

has a very imaginative orchestra leader conductor who helps the symphony do novel things. Not only in the programs, but in expanding the symphony and the community’s participation in the international and national music scene.” One of the ways that ASO stays current and pulls in a larger fan base is through collaborative projects, pulling in supporters and co-participants through various channels in the community.

Musica Nova Fleischer has been the conductor of the ASO for 14 years. Sherri Burkhart

Reddick, the executive director, muses about the earlier years of Fleisher’s service, and the idea that took the ASO in a new and interesting direction. “Early on,” Reddick says, “there was the interest in ‘How do we bring the voice or our time into this body of work? How do we create a repertoire— we can play things from the 1890s, in the 1990s—but how do we get into this new millennium, and how do we add our voice to it?’” One of the ways that ASO directly involves the community in the creative process is through a program called

“Over the years, we’ve had local and national composers write pieces just for the Anchorage Symphony. Sometimes we’ve sponsored a piece all by ourselves, and sometimes we’ve gone together with several other symphony orchestras around the country to pool our resources and allow for a larger piece to be put together.” —Dr. George Rhyneer Board Member, Anchorage Symphony Orchestra

Musica Nova, a club that pools its money to commission original pieces of classical music by modern symphony composers. As the name suggests, the program synthesizes the classic elements of a symphony orchestra with a composer who will make an original piece, binding current and classic together to keep symphony music fresh and new. The club has been operating since 2003. “Over the years, we’ve had local and national composers write pieces just for the Anchorage Symphony,” Rhyneer says. “Sometimes we’ve sponsored a piece all by ourselves, and sometimes we’ve gone together with several other symphony orchestras around the country to pool our resources and allow for a larger piece to be put together.” “Some of these pieces don’t become national best-sellers,” Rhyneer says, “but others actually have!” One of ASO’s commissioned composers is Chris Brubeck, son of Dave Brubeck, and a master in his own right. One particularly popular piece, titled Spontaneous Combustion, was co-commissioned with the Boston Pops and has since been played at Carnegie Hall. “We’ve had a piece by Brubeck which was written and was first played here,” Rhyneer says. “We paid to have it written, and now it’s been played in a number of major cities by a number of major symphony orchestras around the country—and big cities around the country—so we feel we kind of pull on our suspenders with that kind of stuff !”

Commissioned Music Pieces Reddick says commissioning a piece can cost, on average, $1,000 a minute— but don’t cringe at the expense just yet. “It could take them a year to create a work,” Reddick says. How does the commissioning process work? “We find a composer and we go out and talk to our group of donors and say this is what we are looking at

doing,” Reddick says, and it works out well for everyone involved. “Last year we commissioned a piece called ‘comet.’ It was by George Tsontakis,” Reddick continues. “He described it as if you were looking out into space,

the randomness of what you see and what would happen, when you listen to it that’s what it would sound like. It is very rhythmic, and yet when you have that background information it is quite interesting because it works.”




Yulista Management Services, Inc. • Y-Tech Services, Inc. • Yulista Aviation, Inc. Brice Companies • Tunista Services, LLC • Tunista, Inc. • Tunista Construction, LLC Yukon Equipment, Inc. • Brice Environmental • E3 Environmental • Futaris Sequestered Solutions • Chiulista Services, Inc. • Solstice Advertising Calista Real Estate • Calista Heritage Foundation Statistics from Alaska Business Monthly October 2012

April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly


© Clark Mishler

©Step Afrika! / Photo courtesy of ASO

Randall Craig Fleisher.

Rhyneer touts the benefits of being a member of Musica Nova—for people who appreciate art while not having an artistic skill or hobby—as a way to take ownership in the creation of history and art. “It’s really exciting to know that you have somehow materially participated in a new work of art,” Rhyneer says. “I don’t paint, and I really don’t perform or anything like that—but to be able to do this not quite vicariously—it’s actually participating—is pretty exciting. It gives that kind of extra zip and zing to the symphony and its sponsors and the listeners, and everybody else who is interested in it.”

Young People’s Concerts Another way in which the ASO reaches out to the community is through exciting and collaborative young people’s


Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

Caption: Randall Fleisher arranged a musical piece inspired by African American step dancing for Step Afrika.

concerts. Every season, more than 7,000 students from around Alaska attend concerts that are created especially for fourth, fifth and sixth grade students, to introduce them to symphonic music and—hopefully—inspire them to participate in an instrumental music program. In February and March of this year, ASO put on a quickly sold-out young people’s concert called To Boldly Go: An artful exploration of Space! This show, featuring Emmy award-winning astronomer Dr. Jose Francisco Salgado of the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, is unique combination of music and science that gives the young audience the opportunity to experience live orchestral music combined with stunning NASA visuals of our solar system; a ride with the Mars Rover; an exploration of Jupiter, Mars, Uranus and many amazing sights; and great film music from famous spacethemed movies, including 2001 Space

Odyssey, ET, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Star Wars. Tickets cost $5 per person and ASO very generously provides 100 percent of the cost of bus transportation for Anchorage School District students, 50 percent of the cost of transport for Mat-Su Borough students. While students from farther flung school districts are responsible for their own transportation, the young people’s concerts still draw an audience for all corners of the state. Furthermore, the concerts are interpreted in American Sign Language, and Infrared headphones and wheelchair seating are available upon request.

Other Fun Projects ASO also has a variety of diverse and engaging collaborations and events, including: an annual showing of a classic silent film while ASO performs the score (Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights and The Mark of Zorro are two recent examples), contemporary music shows (the music of ABBA and Classical Mystery Tour, featuring music of the Beatles, performed by look-alikes and backed up by the ASO—are two recent examples), and cross-genre collaborations. “Last year we did a piece called Step Afrika,” Reddick says, “which, although it was mainly focused on African step dancing, Randy arranged a piece based on traditional African step dance and African American step dance.” ASO has also done a piece called Echoes—a multi-media symphonic

©Step Afrika! / Photo courtesy of ASO

Caption: Step Afrika, performed in 2012, was focused on African step dancing.

piece that married the indigenous song and dance of Hawaii, Alaska and Native America with a symphony orchestra— which was commissioned by the Native Heritage Center. “That was done three years ago now,” Reddick says. Yet one can hear “echoes” of the performance’s success by doing a simple Internet search.

Funding for ASO Approximately 9 percent of ASO’s $2.1 million annual budget comes from corporate donors, including ConocoPhillips; Patton Boggs; Wells Fargo; Carlile Transportation Systems; Little Red Services; Providence Imaging Center; Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Center of Alaska; Anchorage Fracture and Orthopedic Clinic; BP; and Drs. George Rhyneer (both Rhyneer and his son, also named George and also a doctor, are donors). Forty-seven percent of the remaining budget comes from ticket sales, 14

Photo courtesy of ASO

Every year, ASO performs musiclivewithasilentfilm.

cent from individuals and 13 percent from special events, including corporate support through table purchases at the annual Champagne Pops fundraising event in September. In addition, 7 percent of ASO funding comes from miscellaneous earned income (investments, instrument rental, contracted performances), 5 percent

from foundations (Atwood Foundation, Carr Foundation, and Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation), 3 percent from government sources, and 2 percent from program advertising.  Mari Gallion is Associate Editor at Alaska Business Monthly. April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly


Corporate 100

Renderings courtesy of USKH Inc.

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Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

Showing community support for sacrifices made ByMargaretSharpe


t was 26 years ago when Vietnam veteran Tim Benintendi was appointed to the Veterans’ Action Committee by Mayor Tony Knowles, also a Vietnam Veteran. The committee was tasked with planning, designing and fundraising for a new Anchorage Veterans’ Memorial. The original memorial was on L Street between Ninth and 10th avenues, and was constructed and dedicated in 1952 by Spenard VFW Post 1685. The improved memorial was to be a more substantial symbol for the increasing veteran residents, given Anchorage’s robust growth since the 1950s. The result was the memorial we have today on the park strip—on I Street between Ninth and 10th avenues. Fast forward to 2007, and Benintendi returns. Then Mayor Mark Begich appointed a Blue Ribbon Task Force to address complaints about the deteriorating condition of the memorial at a time when Alaskans were becoming casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan. Benintendi, as a two-tour Vietnam veteran, understands the value of such public symbols. “I think this town needs to keep its memorial in very fine shape. We’ve had three wars since Vietnam—four actions if you count Grenada,” he says. The Task Force determined a plan for the renovation, which called for the

April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly


relocation of the Purple Heart monument; adding a Fallen Warrior statue consisting of boots, helmet and rifle; and adding two sculptured screen panels designed by the artist team of Shala Dobson and Jim Dault. The cost is estimated to be $1.5 million. In 2010, the Anchorage Veterans’ Memorial Committee was formed, of which Benintendi is chair. “We have raised some money from the state, and the city has bonded for some money. Then the Rasmuson Foundation came through with a large donation, and the

Atwood Foundation. We’ve raised a lot of money from individuals and companies of all sizes.”

Goal Almost Met After three years, the Committee is closing in on its goal. “Now we are down to needing $140,000 or less,” says Benintendi. “In early December 2012, the Rasmuson Foundation came back again and gave us a $100,000 challenge grant—dollar for dollar.” This means that the foundation will match every dollar the Anchorage Veterans’ Memo-

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rial Committee raises from now up to June 30 this year. “I’m pretty confident we’ll have all that money raised by the target: June 30.” The committee joined with the Anchorage Park Foundation to help with fundraising and project management. “We didn’t want to go out and form our own 501(c)3, so we became a subaccount of theirs,” Benintendi says. “They deal with park land, and this project is on city park land. They have all the tools in place to receive funds, manage our accounts and pay expenses.” The Anchorage Park Foundation partnership allowed the committee to focus on the goal and limit the “headaches,” plus all contributions are tax-deductible. Mayor Dan Sullivan and the Anchorage Assembly put a $100,000 bond package for the project on the ballot for April. So if voters approve the bond and the fundraising meets the June 30 Rasmuson challenge deadline, the project will be fully funded. With that confidence, Benintendi says that Parks & Rec can put the project out to bid. With timely bidding, the winning bidder could be picked and construction could be planned for this June and July. “I’m going to keep raising money until I’m sure we have enough,” says Benintendi. “You can’t predict what the vote will be, and some park bonds go down, so I’m going to presume that vote might go down. We are going on all fronts—if we get enough, we’ll quit.”

Community Leadership One big positive thing that stood out for Benintendi throughout the project was the response of community leaders. “As of right now, the state has put in $500,000, part of that from Governor Palin and the Legislature then, and part from Governor Parnell and the Legislature two years ago. Mayor Sullivan has done quite a bit to help advance this memorial, not only the fundraising but supporting and making sure Parks & Rec is on the wave length, which they always have been. They’ve been great.” “All the big players responded. I didn’t get swept under the rug,” he says. “I think they buy into the reasoning that we need community symbols to remember and honor the sacrifices of a whole lot of people.” Those big players are the Rasmuson Foundation, Atwood

Foundation and the personal donation of Mrs. Mary Louise Rasmuson. Before she died, she gave the project $100,000 from her own funds. “She was a retired Army Colonel and one of the first heads of the Women’s Army Corps, a World War II veteran,” Benintendi says. Alaska USA Federal Credit Union is the largest single corporate donor, giving $50,000 in the first year of fundraising. “Community leadership, state, local, corporate, private foundations and legacy families—like Mrs. Rasmuson— they were inspired, they understood the need, and they wanted to make it happen,” Benintendi says.

Project Bidding Imminent This time around, the project has to be bid in its entirety; the bidder decides the subcontractors, equipment and materials. So there is no opportunity for inkind donations. “That’s been the difference. All the money had to be raised and in hand before we could break ground and go ahead and reconstruct the site,” he says. “We have a design plan; architectural drawings are on the shelf. We have everything we need. As soon as the

city opens the bid process, and then finally selects a bidder, we are ready to go. I don’t envision any problems.” For the original memorial project, “back then, we only needed about $115,000,” Benintendi says. “We used it all, but we had $15,000 leftover.” He and the members of the Veterans’ Action Committee noticed that the Lady Marines Association had been watering the flowers throughout spring and summer at the memorial site. The women were bringing five-gallon buckets by car and hauling them to water the plants. “When we realized that, we put in a water line out there and paid for it with the residual funds from the project. So now they have a faucet at the base of the monument.” For this project, if all the money comes through—the public votes in favor of the bond package and the Rasmuson challenge goals are met—then extra money would be available at project completion. Should that be the case, the Committee has already agreed to set up a perpetual maintenance fund. “Everybody—all those foundations, and Mrs. Rasmuson, and Alaska USA—all the big players agreed that, yes, if you

Veterans’ Memorial For more information, contact Tim Benintendi, Vietnam veteran and chairman of the Veterans’ Memorial Committee, by telephone: 907-2762923; or email: To donate, mail a check made out to PARK FOUNDATION/VETS MEMORIAL to the Anchorage Veterans’ Memorial Committee, P.O. Box 90525, Anchorage, AK 995090525, or give online at have a little funding left over, set up a perpetual maintenance fund.” Lack of maintenance is partially responsible for the current poor condition of the memorial. The original memorial was assigned to the Parks & Rec budget, which had been under some pressure during those years. “Those (budgets) are usually first to get cut. Like the library,” Benintendi says. “Some things deteriorate from lack of maintenance. The concrete was just a mat-


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ter of the weather impacting it for all those years.” The lights under the trees that illuminated the memorial had been broken by vandals within the first and second year of installation. “Parks & Rec gave up on fi xing them because they would just get damaged again.” In the new memorial, the names of Alaska’s fallen will be transferred onto black granite, etched in larger letters; the granite is much easier to clean up and maintain. What happens to the old bronze plaques? Once the project is finished, Benintendi hopes this surplus property will find a new home, such as at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport or the Dena’ina Center. He would like the panels to be in a public area that gets a lot of traffic, especially tourist traffic. “Some public, visible place,” he says. “There’s a lot of Native Alaskans listed—especially from Korea and Vietnam—a lot of people don’t realize that. We can’t just forget those who serve— who they are—there’s a real human price tag on all this.” The renovation also provides opportunity for technological upgrades. The public address system, which was basically just sockets, will be upgraded during the renovation. The new equipment will include a lockable control panel for electronic lighting, a new public address system, phones and more. Lighting of the memorial will also be greatly improved— not only for aesthetics, but for safety. The projected construction time is about 90 days. Provided that voting, bidding, awarding and construction go as planned, a rededication of the renovated memorial could take place in early September. “I try to reinforce the fact that this memorial needs to be brought up to the standards that justify the sacrifices of those people who have been in the military—not just people who have been wounded or killed in war, but those who served and their families,” Benintendi says. “Families make sacrifices. And that should not be lost on the public. That’s the one thing I try to leave as a lasting impression about what we are doing.”  Margaret Sharpe writes from Palmer.


Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

Corporate 100

special section

CH2M HILL Born in an earthquake, raised on oil ByZazHollander


H2M HILL made its name in Alaska’s oilfields. But the global engineering giant first came to the state in the aftermath of another piece of Alaska history: the devastating 1964 Good Friday earthquake. Since then, the company has become one of Alaska’s largest private employers. CH2M HILL employs about 3,000 people in the state. Facility, equipment and infrastructure investment tops $300 million. “Over the years, we’ve done a tremendous amount of work around the state,” says Tom Maloney, CH2M HILL’s Alaska area manager. The company spans a wide range of geography. Its main office is located on 36th Avenue in Anchorage. Construction subsidiary Norcon operates offices, a shop and warehouse in town as well. Other facilities are located in Fairbanks, Kenai and Deadhorse. CH2M HILL in 2007 acquired another established company in the oilfield service business, Veco, which began operations on the Kenai Peninsula in 1968.

What They Do The company is headquartered outside Denver, Colo. Its name derives from the initials of its founders, four Oregon State University civil engineers, plus the name of a company acquired in the 1970s. The original company started out in 1946. CH2M HILL came to Alaska in 1964. Today, it handles projects such as engineering, environmental services, construction, fabrication, operations and maintenance. CH2M HILL’s reach in Alaska is almost too big to define. A recent listing of job openings shows the company’s

depth: electrical quality control inspector, Prudhoe Bay; travel planner, Anchorage; pipe welder, Kenai; not to mention numerous drafting, engineering and construction positions. Maloney divides his company’s Alaska profile into four Maloney general groups: engineering and consulting; program management; construction; and operations and maintenance plus well-support services. That last one’s the biggie. CH2M HILL provides engineering, repairs, installation, and maintenance services for the Trans Alaska Pipeline System, or TAPS, which is operated by Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. Alyeska has a contract with CH2M HILL Engineering, and recently awarded the company a five-year Master Services Agreement, according to Alyeska spokeswoman Michelle Egan. Alyeska has “a long history of working with CH2M HILL,” Egan says. CH2M HILL supports major operations in Alaska, western Canada, the United States, Russia and the Middle East. The oil patch figures prominently into CH2M HILL’s business today. The North Slope houses the bulk of the work in the company’s energy group. CH2M HILL maintains more than 2,000 pieces of equipment on the Slope, where it owns facilities located on 125 acres of leased land. Truckable modular fabrication is another major sector. CH2M HILL has worked on “virtually every major North Slope development,” Maloney says. The company also works with local, state and federal governments as well

as Alaska Native villages and corporations on water, environmental, transportation and other government services. The company’s water business group, which handles water and wastewater treatment design and construction, among other things, tends to work in more remote places where water is a “significant issue,” Maloney says. The list of government jobs is long: transportation planning and design of road, port and rail corridors to assist in the development of mineral and energy resources; major roadway and interchange engineering; environmental remediation and cleanup; design-build and construction of federal facilities, including aircraft maintenance facilities and hangars; and logistics planning, remote camp equipment and coordination of services for Alaska research projects. Employees range from high school graduates to post-graduate doctorates, from geotechnical experts to truck drivers. “The most powerful person on a big construction site might be the person operating the biggest crane,” Maloney says.

Where It All Began The company came to Alaska to help with a massive task: build a new Valdez from the shambles the 1964 earthquake left behind. The earthquake inflicted such damage on Valdez—and revealed such geologic risk to future building—that planners opted to move to a new town site some three-and-a-half miles away rath-

April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly


er than rebuild the original. This from a 1965 article in a civil engineering publication, authored by James W. Poirot, the project engineer on the relocation. Poirot worked for the firm of Cornell, Howland, Hayes & Merryfield—the C, M and two H’s that made up the original CH2M. The quake triggered a landslide that consumed a section of waterfront 4,000 feet long and 600 feet wide. An ocean floor previously 40 feet deep settled to a level more than 100 feet down. Waterfront docks disappeared

altogether. It also triggered a tsunami that washed into the streets of Valdez. Massive underground pressure in the aftermath of it all pushed soil a foot into homes. Poirot and his company set to work. Plans called for building a grade school, most of the small-boat harbor and deepwater dock, and starting work on new streets and utilities, all that same year. CH2M got the design contract for the streets and utility systems. An accelerated schedule pushed designs for critical functions such as David Barnes

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Training for the Future Along with its decades of experience working with government agencies, CH2M HILL prides itself on the extensive role it plays in the community. The company is an active player in Alaska’s philanthropy scene, contributing heavily to nonprofits such as Boys & Girls Club, United Way, Habitat for Humanity and the American Cancer Society. CH2M HILL also prides itself in a strong internship program that offers engineering students the chance to get high-level experience in the course of a summer. The program is part of the company’s Alaska-hire preference. CH2M HILL sets up booths at numerous career fairs. Employees teach at the University of Alaska Anchorage or Fairbanks. They work closely with high school instructors. “We have a lot of fine Alaskans. They go to UAA, UAF, they may go to the Colorado School of Mines. They’re all Alaskans,” Maloney says. “That’s who we’re hiring in our internship program. They’re Alaska-grown or raised. You have a higher probability of getting them back for working.” Last year, the company took 29 interns, including six high school students. Most of them went to CH2M HILL’s engineering group. Five of the interns came from UAA’s Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program. Maloney talks up the strength of the math, science and design students at Alaska schools. “We’re fortunate. A lot of them are sending resumes to us,” he says. “I just wish we could hire more.” 

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water supply, sewage treatment and streets to be completed quickly so construction could begin before October. A construction contract was negotiated in September. “The time schedule was recognized at the outset to be almost impossible, but thanks to the diligence of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other agencies, most target dates for construction have been met,” Poirot wrote.

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Zaz Hollander is a journalist living in Palmer.

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Corporate 100

special section

Photo courtesy of John Minder

Great Northwest CEO and PresidentJohnMinderinhisFairbanksoffice.

Great Northwest Inc. Steady growth from branching out


ne way to track the growth and changes in Fairbanks over the last 38 years is to look for the footprints of Great Northwest Inc. The general construction firm has moved a lot of dirt over the years. It worked on the city’s parks, roads and utilities. It landscaped major commercial projects and laid the groundwork for

ByJulieStricker the giant retail outlets on the city’s outskirts. In the mid-1990s, Great Northwest branched out into road construction and has left its mark on Interior Alaska’s highways, as well as a major rebuild of the Tok Cutoff after the 7.9 magnitude Denali Fault Earthquake in 2002. Steady growth has taken Great Northwest from its roots as a landscaping

business in the 1970s to a major general construction firm that did $55 million in contracts in 2012, CEO and President John Minder says of the company he founded in 1976. It is one of the largest independently owned and operated civil construction firms in Interior Alaska. “We started growing and growing,” Minder says. “It just kept getting bigApril 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly


ger and we started acquiring more people.” Today, the company employs from 25 to 250 workers, depending on the season. Despite that growth, the company, including Minder, keeps its boots firmly on the ground. “This company is a blue-collar company with a white-collar mentality,” he says. “I have three civil engineers with Stanford degrees, but no one’s too good to pick up a shovel in this company, including myself.” The company logo is a simple graphic showing a pair of well-worn work boots and the company name—no frills. Minder says the logo came from a job he was working on in Valdez in 1979. Alyeska was building a subdivision with 40 or 50 units in it and Minder and two other workers, one of whom was a talented artist, were putting in the yards. They were living in a onebedroom apartment. “One night I came home, I just kicked my boots off and lay on the couch and went to sleep,” Minder says. “When I woke up, he had drawn a picture of my boots.”

made enough money to buy the 40 acres in Montana and wasn’t planning to stay in Alaska, but it didn’t work out that way. In 1976, he and Howard “Buzz” Otis started a landscaping business. They built up the company, buying heavy equipment as they moved to working on parks and landscaping commercial buildings. Things were going well. Then, “in 1985, oil tanked and we had all this heavy equipment,” Minder says. About that time, the city of Fairbanks started upgrading its utilities, sidewalks and streets. Great Northwest worked on those projects and later did the sitework for the big Fred Meyer store in west Fairbanks. When major retail outlets moved into east Fairbanks, Great Northwest laid the groundwork for those as well.

Branched Out Business In the mid-1990s, Great Northwest had branched out into road construction and today performs the bulk of its contracts outside Fairbanks, although it maintains its landscaping business

ranges from a No. 2 shovel to a $4.5 million dollar hydraulic clam it uses to mine gravel. The company is closely held, with Minder as president and CEO. Otis sold his interest in the company about five years ago. Recent highlights include reconstructing a 17-mile stretch of the Alaska Highway in 2008-2009 and rebuilding a 22-mile length of the Dalton Highway. The Dalton Highway project was a $31 million job slated to take two construction seasons, Minder says. The company completed it in one season, under budget. Minder says the company has done numerous emergency jobs from the Alaska Department of Transportation under FEMA contracts. One that stands out is the rebuild of part of the Tok Cutoff after the 2002 Denali Fault Earthquake ripped huge gashes in the roadbed. Great Northwest completed the $5 million contract $1 million under budget. This summer, Great Northwest is tackling another tough stretch of the remote Dalton Highway: 9 Mile Hill,

“This company is a blue-collar company with a white-collar mentality, I have three civil engineers with Stanford degrees, but no one’s too good to pick up a shovel in this company, including myself.” —John Minder CEO and President, Great Northwest Inc.

Minder liked the drawing and thought it was more representative of Great Northwest than the spruce tree the original logo sported. “I sometimes get asked if I repair shoes,” he says, laughing.

Brought Up by the Pipeline Building a cabin, not a company, is what propelled Minder to Alaska almost four decades ago. In the early 1970s, Minder was a ski bum in Whitefish, Montana, who had his eye on a 40-acre lot near the ski resort. He wanted to buy the lot and build a cabin, but lacked the cash, so he jumped at the opportunity to earn some money in Alaska during construction of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline. Minder rolled into Fairbanks with a 1953 Chevy pickup, a 1951 D-21 Martin guitar and $509 to his name. He 110

Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

and a major presence in the Fairbanks North Star Borough. Great Northwest specializes in all phases of civil earthwork construction. Projects range from the mundane, such as putting in driveways, residential sewage systems and utility easements, to major highway realignments in remote locations. The company has worked with the state of Alaska, Alyeska Pipeline Service Co., Princess Tours, Fairbanks Gold Mining Inc., ConocoPhillips, the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Flint Hills, among many others. It also sells topsoil and peat from a pit off College Road that dates to the company’s beginnings, as well as gravel, aggregates and asphalt from its pit in south Fairbanks, near the company headquarters. The company’s 400 piece, $24 million inventory of heavy equipment

and upgrading from Mile 11 to Mile 18. This stretch of road is known for being narrow, steep and winding. The projects together total $21.7 million. It also will reconstruct a notoriously bumpy stretch of the Parks Highway outside Healy.

Greatest Strength Minder says Great Northwest’s greatest strength is its employees. He is also very proud of the company’s safety record. “We have the lowest turnover rate of any major contractor in Alaska,” Minder says. “If you’re here for two years, you’re here for the duration.” His top management professionals have more than 30 years experience apiece in the construction business. The crew superintendents are key to the success of Great Northwest, Minder says.

“Ihaveadifferentphilosophyon safety, in order to have a good safety program, you really do havetocareaboutyouremployees, that’s No. 1. You can have all the regulations in the world, butyouhavetohaveamindset forsafetyanditcomestoreally caring about your employees. Wedon’thaveaccidents.That’s the only thing that’ll really set me off, is when I see someone doingsomethingunsafe.”

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“The engineers, they take care of the estimating, change orders and the negotiations, but the superintendents are the ones who are building the project,” Minder says. “The difference between a good superintendent and a bad superintendent can be a 30 or 40 percent swing in the process. “(The superintendents) are all a pain in the ass because they’re all such strong personalities, that’s part of the package.” Great Northwest’s safety record is another thing Minder is proud of. “I have a different philosophy on safety,” he says. “In order to have a good safety program, you really do have to care about your employees, that’s No. 1. You can have all the regulations in the world, but you have to have a mindset for safety and it comes to really caring about your employees.” The company has one of the lowest experience modifiers in the industry. “We don’t have accidents,” Minder says. “That’s the only thing that’ll really set me off,” he says, “is when I see someone doing something unsafe.” Great Northwest’s boot prints can also be seen in its community involvement, although Minder says the company prefers to keep a low profile. “We really do give back a lot to the community,” he says. 

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Corporate 100

TelAlaska © Chris Arend

TelAlaska Telecom Tech Clinton Paul.

Remotely serving rural Alaska ByRindiWhite


an we bring Internet service to some of the United States’ most rural and difficult to reach communities? Of course we can! Can we provide vital cellular telephone service to customers who might need it to save their lives? Of course we can! TelAlaska’s motto is “At TelAlaska, of course you can,” and it speaks to the company’s willingness to provide customized solutions for its customers as it has for more than four decades. But it also harkens to the business’s efforts to provide 21st century service in remote communities. These efforts, according to the company’s CEO, are getting more difficult today with changing federal priorities. TelAlaska is a full-service telecommunications company with about 75 employees. It has been operating in Alaska since 1968. The Rhyner fam-


Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

ily began the business as Interior Telephone Co., providing telephone service in Fort Yukon. The Ryner’s tale is a classic Alaska small business story of vision, opportunity and ingenuity. “They were actually using equipment that came from the (1967) Fairbanks flood,” says President and CEO Brenda Shepard. The family cleaned up office equipment in their basement, according to information from past CEO Jack Rhyner’s family, and put it to use, dug holes for their own telephone poles and built the infrastructure themselves. All this to provide service to a community that previously shared a single phone line located at the Fort Yukon airport, according to the Rhyner family. Over the years, Shepard says, the Rhyner family methodically expanded their coverage area, picking up com-

“When cell phone service became available out here, it wasabreathoffreshairforour VPSOs.” —Pearl Mikulski VicePresident CommunityServices,KawerakInc.

munities on the Aleutian chain and elsewhere. In 1992 the company, which had since changed its name to TelAlaska, purchased Mukluk Telephone Co. on the Seward Peninsula and began serving 13 new communities around Nome, including Little Diomede Island. More purchases followed, including a deal in 2000 to take over GTE, which served Seward and Moose Pass

Rural Service a Challenge Because its customers are few in number and spread out geographically, service calls require more than simply hopping in a truck and resolving a technical problem. Rural-market companies like TelAlaska rely in part on cost supports from the federal Universal Service Fund (USF) to help make telephone service to all Americans affordable, Shepard says. “There is no viable market in the traditional sense. As far as the cost of the infrastructure, rural Alaskans would not be able to bear that full cost, much less contribute to a reasonable profit margin,” Shepard says. Federal USF support helps TelAlaska build infrastructure, reinvest in plant upgrades and expand service to include such high-cost elements as modern-day broadband, Shepard says. Last year, the FCC redirected its support away from small rural companies to large company efforts to strengthen urban broadband infrastructure, she says “We realize that in a competitive global economy, the United States needs to rank at the top technologically; but weakening the underpinnings of the rural communications network poses a challenge for businesses like ours, and it poses a clear threat to the people in the communities we serve,” Shepard says. Those services are vital, says Pearl Mikulski, vice president of community services for Kawerak Inc., a regional nonprofit organized by the Bering Straits Native Association in 1973 to provide services throughout the Bering Straits region. The organization assists

© Chris Arend

on the Kenai Peninsula. American Broadband, a rural telephone provider operating in Nebraska, Missouri, Louisiana and Texas, bought TelAlaska from the Rhyner family in 2008, and although the company’s corporate office is in North Carolina, it makes locally based operations a priority and, on its web page, American Broadband cites an emphasis on “local management control.” Today the company serves about 15,000 accounts in 25 communities and its coverage area includes Nome and Fort Yukon, the Aleutian Chain and many spots between. According to the company’s website, only four of the communities served are accessible by road. Travis Stubblefield, TelAlaska Seward AreaSupervisor.

people from 20 different tribes in the area and provides services from community planning to job training and economic development. Mikulski says she serves on the Federal Communication Commission’s Native Nations Broadband Task Force, advocating on behalf of all tribal nations. While many tribes live in rural or remote areas in the Lower 48 and often don’t have access to cellular and Internet services that are widely available in more urban areas, Mikulski says Alaska is remote on another scale. “Alaska has even more (challenges) with the unforgivable arctic environment and the frozen Bering Sea and the remoteness of some of our places, and our small population base. But (service) is more critical here because if you cut off communication to a remote location, they’re even more isolated,” she says. Service to many of Kawerak’s clients isn’t about providing a platform to check Facebook or Twitter. Many villages in the region don’t have banks, so banking is done online. Many don’t have doctors stationed in the village, so it’s critical that a doctor in a more central area be able to examine a patient using Telemed system technology. Many government programs, including the Alaska Permanent Fund, require applications to be filled out online, Mikulski says. Federal benefits are soon going to be paid electronically. “Saying it’s too remote or too far away, or that there is not enough of a

population base to justify service, it’s denying something valuable to people,” Mikulski says. “We don’t want to see businesses like TelAlaska go out of business—we want to support them so they can thrive,” she says.

Cell Service a Lifeline for Some Residents TelAlaska has been working to expand its cell service. The company now offers cell plans in every community it serves. It’s a service many residents want, Shepard says—especially in remote areas. “We just completed the last of our cell rollout in some really small locations, and on the Seward Peninsula, this summer,” Shepard says. Celine Kaplan, the company’s senior marketing associate, says TelAlaska offers service plans that start at $9.99 a month, as well as Lifeline programs for cellular and landline service that offer free service for qualifying individuals. That’s critical for user groups like hunters and village public safety officers, known as VPSOs, which provide local law enforcement to rural communities, Mikulski says. “When cell phone service became available out here, it was a breath of fresh air for our VPSOs because they had to have a connection to the (Alaska State) Troopers. We are not subsidized … we’re paying commercial rates for our police officers to have Internet and phone and cell service. But we have to pay it, for the life and safety of the staff and the people they are serving,” she says. April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly


A New Era in Remote Site Access

Flying is our passion, Safety is our mission 907 550 8600 •

Expanding Service in a Way That Makes Sense Since 2009, TelAlaska has expanded its broadband offerings considerably, Shepard says. That doesn’t mean Nome residents are able to stream their favorite television shows online, however. The reality of Internet service—even broadband service—in rural Alaska is much different than the broadband service Southcentral Alaska consumers are familiar with. “In Seward, we have true broadband, because we have access to affordable fiber networks,” Shepard says. “When you get out into remote and sparsely populated areas such as Dutch Harbor and the Aleutians, or on Mukluk (Telephone Service), it’s going over a satellite so you have a latency issue. And it’s also extremely expensive for us and our customers.” In rural areas, a normal connection is a 256k or 512k download speed. Kaplan says 256k service runs about $46 per month, which is similar to what customers in Southcentral Alaska pay for high-speed connections. The difference, Shepard says, is that remote areas rely on satellite connections, not fiber optic cables. TelAlaska buys space on satellites and customers pay based on the capacity they use. “It becomes an affordability issue,” she says. “We keep trying to find better ways; better compression equipment to try to keep costs down, but it’s extremely costly and the customer base is extremely small.” Shepard says TelAlaska is very much in support of a plan to lay an arctic fiber optic cable from Tokyo to Europe, in the hope that a spur could be run at least to Nome. That would speed service on the Seward Peninsula considerably, she says, but it wouldn’t help other remote communities such as Dutch Harbor. Although a bustling hub of activity for the fishing community and pending offshore oil exploration, Dutch Harbor is still a long way from any nearby cable. It would be extremely costly to extend a line to the community, Shepard says, and it’s unlikely there would ever be enough traffic to justify the cost. “But I’d never say never,” she says.  Freelance journalist Rindi White lives in Palmer.


Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

Corporate 100

special section

© Karen Jettmar/

UniSea fish processing plant atDutchHarboronAmaknakIslandintheAleutianIslands.

UniSea Inc. T A key player in Alaska’s fishing industry, Dutch Harbor’s economy


erry Shaff loves fish. In fact, it’s the only kind of “meat” he eats. Shaff has collected hundreds of fish recipes and dined at seafood restaurants all over the world. His favorite? It’s the Wednesday night seafood buffet in the Chart Room at the Grand Aleutian Hotel.

April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly


UniSeaemploysfrom1,000to1,200peopleduringitspeakseasons,whichlastfromJanuaryuntilApril forpollock,withasecondpollockseasonfromJunetoOctober.CrabseasonrunsroughlySeptemberto November.Intheslowtimes,workersrebuildandmaintaintheequipmentandgearupforthenextrush. For most people, traveling to the Grand Aleutian Hotel, located in Dutch Harbor on Unalaska Island midway down the Aleutian Island chain, is a bit out of the way even with the appeal of great seafood. But Shaff, president and CEO of UniSea Inc. since 1991, has Shaff an inside track on great seafood. And Dutch Harbor, the gateway to the icy Bering Sea, is the epicenter of a business that produces seafood products that are distributed around the world. UniSea, a subsidiary of Japanese firm Nippon Suisan Kaisha Ltd., was formerly known as Universal Seafoods. It was founded in 1974 and is based in Redmond, Wash., but its primary processing facilities are in Dutch Harbor. A secondary processing facility is located in Redmond. Nippon Suisan Kaisha purchased Universal Seafoods in 1979 and the name was changed to UniSea in 1985.

Seasons of the Fish UniSea produces pollock, Pacific cod, king and snow crab, halibut, black cod and various secondary products such as fish meal, fish oil and bones. In 1987, UniSea began processing surimi, a ground fish blend that is often used to mimic other seafood such as crab or molded into fish sticks. Overall, it processes more than 100 kinds of fish and crab, but pollock fillet block, surimi and crab are the company’s mainstays. UniSea is McDonald’s largest provider for its Filet-O-Fish sandwiches, according to the company website. UniSea operates a cold storage facility in Redmond, where it reprocesses seafood to customer specifications. It also owns and operates the Grand Aleutian Hotel and the UniSea Inn in Dutch Harbor. It is a vital part of the economy of Dutch Harbor/Unalaska, a booming fishing community 800 miles southwest of Anchorage. The town, with a permanent population of about 5,000, is centered on a deep-draft, ice-free port in the heart of the North Pacific and Bering Sea fisheries. 116

Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

UniSea’s Unalaska operations are a self-contained complex that includes the processing facilities, housing, bunkhouses and a cafeteria, says Todd Shoup, Dutch Harbor production director. UniSea employs from 1,000 to 1,200 people during its peak seasons, which last from January until April for pollock, with a second pollock season from June to October. Crab season runs roughly September to November. In the slow times, workers rebuild and maintain the equipment and gear up for the next rush. UniSea is “extremely important” to the island’s economy, Shoup says. The company is the largest tour-based operation on the island, as well as being the largest fish processor out of the halfdozen in business in Dutch Harbor. “I truly believe the community would be devastated if we were to lose UniSea,” Shoup says. “It would be a huge financial blow.”

Healthy Workforce Maintaining a healthy workforce is a priority, Shoup says. “We send people out recruiting all up and down the West Coast,” he says. UniSea works closely with recruiting stations in the Lower 48, and relies on word of mouth from current employees. Many workers come from the Philippines, but overall workers represent more than 100 ethnic backgrounds and languages. Why would so many people travel so far? “I guess a job,” Shoup says. “You have housing. You have food. You have employment. You’re gaining knowledge of working in the fishing industry.” UniSea offers health insurance and 401k plans to employees who have worked a certain number of hours. The company boasts an 89 percent rate of returning employees, noting some workers have been with UniSea for more than a quarter-century. Shoup has been in Dutch Harbor for four years, joining UniSea after a 28-

year career in the paper industry. The attraction? “The opportunity to come to a tropical island,” he says, laughing. “Margaritas on the beach every day.” Life in the Aleutians is not easy. The islands are remote and the weather is among the worst in the world, with hurricane-force storms and days of gray skies, fog and drizzle. But it sits squarely in the middle of one of the Earth’s richest fisheries.

Sustainable Practices More than 1 million tons of frozen seafood is shipped out of Dutch Harbor annually, making it top in the nation for the quantity of seafood—first or second in terms of seafood value. During peak season, UniSea can process up to 2.5 million pounds of pollock daily in three processing facilities. The plants operate around the clock and can take up to 350 people per 12-hour shift to process the fish. Thirteen boats are members of the cooperative that deliver seafood to the UniSea processing plant during pollock season. During crabbing season, they take deliveries from about 15 boats, Shoup says. Pollock is offloaded using a wet vacuum system. The fish are sorted and weighed, then minced to make surimi. The resulting paste is washed and dried, mixed with dry ingredients and frozen in blocks before being shipped. Special Baader equipment, made in Germany, is used to make skinless, boneless fillets.

UniSeaisworkingwiththeAlaska EnergyAuthoritytotestafish-oil diesel blend to generate power in a 2.2 megawatt generator in its Unalaska plant. UniSea uses about1milliongallonsofablend containing up to 70 percent fish oilforelectricityproduction.

The plants can process up to 450,000 pounds of red king crab daily. Only live, male crabs are processed and are either brine frozen or blast frozen. UniSea’s operations are part of the foundation that supports the adventures television viewers have become hooked on with the reality show Deadliest Catch. Although processing fish is a far different, and much more mundane, world than battling the elements in the icy Bering Sea, Shoup says the show has had a positive impact on the fishing and crabbing industries. “They (the ‘Deadliest Catch’ crews) don’t often come onto the dock or into the plant,” Shoup says, pausing for a moment before noting that they had shot a segment on the docks just the week before. To maintain the health of the fisheries, UniSea is committed to principles of sustainable fisheries and encourages participation in the North Pacific Fisheries Management Process, according to the company website. That includes using all parts of the fish, whether its consumer grade or made into fish meal or used as a biomass energy source. UniSea is working with the Alaska Energy Authority to test a fish-oil diesel blend to generate power in a 2.2 megawatt generator in its Unalaska plant. UniSea uses about 1 million gallons of a blend containing up to 70 percent fish oil for electricity production.

Branching Out UniSea is also a big player in the hospitality industry. The Grand Aleutian, a 112-room upscale hotel featuring fine dining, was the brainchild of former UniSea president Dick Pace. The driftwood-colored exterior of the hotel is designed to mesh with the surroundings, while the contrasting red roof echoes the peaks of the surrounding mountains and volcanoes. The hotel opened in 1993. UniSea also owns the Harbor View Inn, a moderately priced hotel with a popular sports bar that overlooks the small boat harbor. The company owns a liquor store and another small restaurant and bar, Shoup says. Fishing and birding excursions are popular.  Julie Stricker is a writer living near Fairbanks.

April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly



Now in its 19th year recognizing those who have encouraged women in Anchorage to succeed in business, the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce announced the following 2013 inductees into the Anchorage ATHENA Society: ■ Renee Haag, Owner, Blaine’s Art Supply ■ Caroline Higgins, Project & Logistics Manager, Totem Ocean Trailer Express ■ Annie Holt, CEO, Alaska Regional Hospital ■ Nance Larsen, Communications Manager, Pebble Partnership ■ Dr. Cheryl Myers, Owner, South Anchorage Physical Therapy Inc. ■ Beth Nordlund, Executive Director, Anchorage Park Foundation ■ Deborah Smith, Magistrate Judge, United States District Court ■ Julie Varee, Development Manager, Best Beginnings ■ Pat Walsh, CEO, Walsh Sheppard ■ Candace Winkler, President/CEO, Alaska Community Foundation These 10 women are recognized for their professional excellence, commitment to the community and for encouraging the leadership potential of women.

Compiled by Mari Gallion Country Financial

Leslie Baker of Wasilla has been named a financial representative for Country Financial. Baker is a member of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Baker Advisors.




Wells Fargo



Wells Fargo has named Casey Campbell and Bill Cessnun as senior business relationship managers for its Alaska Commercial Banking Group. Campbell earned a Bachelor of Science in economics from Central Washington University. Cessnun is a native of Kenai and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance and economics from the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Janda Campanella Tracy Morris has been promoted to vice president of KeyBank in Alaska as a middle market relationship manager. She began her banking career with KeyBank 18 years ago while studying business management at the University of Alaska Askren Anchorage. Kevin McCormick has joined KeyBank in Alaska as a retail relationship manager at the Fairbanks Main branch. A Fairbanks native, McCormick is a 2011 graduate of the University of Arizona.

Jazz Janda has been selected to manage KeyBank’s Ketchikan branch. He is an affiliate with the Association of Finance and Insurance Professionals – A.F.I.P. Legal, Ethical, and Regulatory State and National requirements. KeyBank’s Alaska District Retail Leader Steve Campanella was awarded a diploma at commencement exercises during the 67th annual session of the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The school was established in 1945 to provide bankers with an opportunity for advanced study and research in banking, economics and leadership. Jake Askren has joined KeyBank in Alaska as a relationship manager and business specialist at the South Anchorage branch. Askren brings to KeyBank 14 years of banking experience, including 10 focused on small businesses. He has served on the associate’s council for the Associated General Contractors of Alaska for the past four years.

Denali Alaskan Federal Credit Union

Emi Banning, Human Resources Supervisor at Denali Alaskan Federal Credit Union, recently earned certification as a Professional in Human Resources. Banning has been working in Denali Alaskan’s HR department since 2010. Banning

Perkins Coie

Danielle M. Ryman has been promoted to partner in the Anchorage office of law firm Perkins Coie. Ryman is a member of the Labor & Employment practice at Perkins Coie. Her practice focuses on defense and representation of employers, as Ryman well as counsel and advice on legal issues effecting today’s workplace. She defends employers in state and federal court, and before state and federal administrative agencies.





Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

RIGHT MOVES She conducts workplace investigations, defends employers in union arbitrations, and represents management in labor negotiations. Ryman also works closely with corporate legal counsel, executive management, and HR professionals to provide guidance on employment-related legal issues.


Margaret (Mel) Langdon, P.E., has joined USKH as a senior water resources engineer/hydrologist. Langdon is a graduate of the University of Washington, and she received her Master of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Langdon Colorado. She is licensed in Alaska, Washington, Oregon and Colorado.

BP Alaska

Janet Weiss has been named Regional President of BP Alaska. She succeeds John Mingé, who has been appointed Chairman and President of BP America Inc. after serving as head of BP’s Alaska business since Jan. 1, 2009. Mingé will be based in Houston, where he will serve as BP’s lead representative in the U.S. Weiss will be responsible for BP’s oil and gas exploration, development and production activities in Alaska, as well as its interests in the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System. She will continue to be based in Anchorage. Weiss has held engineering and executive posts in both Alaska and in the Lower 48, and holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Oklahoma State University.

Alaska Ocean Leadership Awards

The Alaska SeaLife Center’s Alaska Ocean Leadership Awards Committee presented six awards to organizations and individuals who have made significant contributions to awareness and sustainability of the state’s marine resources. ■ Bonita Nelson, Ocean Literacy Award. ■ Thomas Litwin, Ph.D. and Lawrence Hott, Ocean Media Award for excellence in journalism that has raised public awareness of Alaska’s oceans. ■ Drs. Katrin Iken, Brenda Konar, Russ Hopcroft and Bodil Bluhm, faculty of the University of

Compiled by Mari Gallion Alaska Fairbanks School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, share the Marine Research Award. ■ Holland America Line was recognized with the Ocean Stewardship and Sustainability Award. ■ Ahmaogak Sweeney was recognized in a new category this year, the Ocean Youth Award. ■ Clement V. Tillion received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. “The Alaska Ocean Leadership Awards provide an opportunity to recognize outstanding contributions to the sustainability of Alaska’s greatest resource— her oceans,” said Tara Riemer Jones, ASLC President and CEO. The Alaska SeaLife Center is most appreciative of the support provided by the sponsors of these awards and thanks the Awards Committee, Arliss Sturgulewski (Chair), Jason Brune, Lisa Busch, Dr. Michael Castellini, David Christie, Dr. Ian Dutton, Dale Hoffman and Dr. Douglas Woodby for their assistance in selecting the awardees. Nominations for the 2014 awards will open in late 2013.

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines’ Betsy Bacon has been named managing director of Alaska Air Cargo. Bacon, an eight-year veteran of the airline, previously served as director of cargo operations and compliance. Before joining Alaska Airlines, Bacon served for 27 years in various leadership roles at DHL/ Airborne Express. Bacon attended Weber State University in Ogden, Utah.

RIM Design LLC

RIM Design LLC is pleased to announce Firm Associate Leslie Thomas has achieved Professional Architectural Registration in Alaska. Thomas holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Minnesota and a Bachelor of Environmental Design from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. She has worked professionally in Anchorage since 1999 and with RIM Design for 11 years. Her architectural background provides the advantage of an interior designer sensitive to construction techniques, building systems and codes, and contributes a focus on ordering interior elements to create environments with visual interest and spatial logic. Thomas is a member of the Alaska Chapter, American Institute of Architects. Her projects at RIM Design include Arctic Slope Regional Corporation Headquarters in Anchorage

and Barrow, Northrim Bank Headquarters and Branches, and UAA at University Center.

Capital Office

Capital Office and 1 Workplace Design announced that Hannah Ford has joined their team as a Designer/Space Planner. Ford recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in both Interior Design and Ford Graphic Design. She brings with her many years of experience in these areas, in addition to space planning, print design, marketing and sales.


Shaneill Marquez was just hired as a government mobility sales representative in the Business Integrated Solutions division at AT&T. Marquez has more than four years of experience in telecom having worked as a retail sales consultant, finance Marquez representative, and most recently as an assistant store manager at AT&T’s Business Park Boulevard location in Anchorage.

Board of Fisheries

Gov. Sean Parnell announced the appointment of Reed Morisky to the Board of Fisheries in February. Morisky’s appointment expires June 30, 2014, and is subject to confirmation by the Alaska Legislature. Morisky, of Fairbanks, is the owner and operator of a sport fishing guide service. He currently works as a project manager for the University of Alaska. He is a past member of the Sport Fishing Guide Services Task Force, Summit Drive Service Area Commission, and the Steese Area Volunteer Fire Department Board of Directors. Morisky serves as a current member for the Fairbanks Convention and Visitors Bureau, Trout Unlimited, Alaska Outdoor Council, and the NRA.


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April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly



Who’s Your Data? Buying or selling, it’s become a commodity CompiledbyAlaskaBusinessMonthlystaff


Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013


ata has become a commodity. With the proliferation of big data, it is understandable that data would be viewed as a commodity by now. The thing is, there is so much data, it’s become like natural gas and there is a glut. The big money is not in buying and selling data—rather, it’s in the bandwidth and connections for the movement of data by businesses that is purchased from telecommunications portals. Choosing the bandwidth and connection speeds for downloading and uploading—and selecting a monthly amount of data for a business are decisions as individual as shopping for a car. Does the company prefer to pay a monthly fee and trust the package purchased will meet the needs of the business? Does the business prefer to shop for individual core components a la carte that relate specifically to a unique need? Is the business such that a customer service representative is necessary to help determine and assess what is needed? Or is the business in a location so remote that just having service is sufficient?

Regardless, it seems that there are enough options—and there is enough business—to keep Alaska’s largest telecom companies and their customers connected and thriving.

MTA A quick Internet search reveals that Matanuska Telephone Association has a clear-cut and user-friendly menu of services and pricing. Business service packages are available based on download and upload speed, usage and contract term, ranging from a low of $30 a month to $1,099 a month. On their website MTA boasts, “Efficient, effective data network.” “MTA helps small business with high speed Internet access, and large corporations with complex internal and external networks,” much like any telecommunications provider’s offering, the website continues with everyman’s data mantra, “We can provide a complete solution to fit your company’s needs.” MTA Solutions also provides metro Ethernet, according to its website: “A

secure, dedicated, reliable high-speed connection between multiple locations, metro Ethernet is scalable, provides simplified management solutions and supports high performance networks. With incremental bandwidths and speeds, you only pay for what you need.” If you’re not sure which package to choose, “expert MTA business consultants will be glad to help figure out which features, savings, products and services will help create the best solution for you.” MTA’s marketing seems to assure that—even if you don’t quite know what you’re looking for—they can fit you with a package that meets your needs without stress, strain or a steep technical jargon learning curve.

GCI Although GCI is the go-to company for rural and urban Alaskans alike, based on their widespread and far-flung services, pricing and services vary depending on the locale. Due to this diversity and the many factors that contribute to pricing matrices it almost impossible to

April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly


figure out a plan without enlisting the help of customer service support. “GCI is the largest telecommunications company in Alaska, providing voice, data, video and wireless communications services. GCI owns and operates the widest reaching, most diverse, and redundant fiber network throughout Alaska, as well as between Alaska and the continental U.S. GCI owns and operates facilities to more than 220 points of presence throughout Alaska and has invested over $1.5 billion over the past 20 years to bring leading edge telecommunications services to Alaska,” according to the GCI website. However, it is impossible to put GCI’s claims to the test without a customer service support representative acting as an intermediary to help navigate their many offerings. These offerings include voice, Internet and data, network management, cloud, data services center, industrial telecom, carrier access, and business support. GCI stands out amongst the competition in one very visible way, and that is that they provide services in severe environments and delivers “reliable and

cost-effective voice, data, and process control networks/SCADA systems regardless of your project’s location.” If a business is looking for a provider that is large, expansive and sophisticated, GCI fits the bill.

AT&T AT&T has divided up its suite of services available into four categories: small business, for businesses with fewer than 100 employees; enterprise businesses, for business with more than 100 employees; wholesale, for buyers of wholesale services; and government agencies, for federal, state and local entities. According to their website, AT&T provides: “fast and reliable broadband Internet, the nation’s largest wired and wireless broadband provider.” They claim they’ll keep your business connected with a network of possibilities. Their dedicated connectivity to the Internet starts at $30 per month. Enterprise businesses have a wide array of services to choose from: application services, cloud services, hosing services, data protection, mobility services, network security, network

services, unified communications and voice services. AT&T’s web interface demonstrates their mastery of providing the best of many worlds: A large company with an expansive network combined with a user friendly interface that allows even the biggest internet novices to find what they are looking for quickly, doing most of their own footwork before needing to elicit the help of a customer support person.

Alaska Communications Small businesses can avoid the hassle of customizing the components in a service package by opting for the small business bundle offered by Alaska Communications. It allows a company to get “all the telecommunications technology you need to run your business without the upfront costs and a 40 percent discount,” according to the Alaska Communications website. Key services in this bundle include phone service, business Internet, voice mail with web access, long distance service and upgrades (customizable services available for up to 50 lines). One exciting product that is highlighted in the Alaska Communications suite of products is a fleet management tool: a GPS and cellular based technology that enables a company to monitor its fleet remotely. Alaska Communications offers free demonstrations of their products. These are arranged through their business representatives. Another user friendly feature of the Alaska Communications interface is that customers can shop by business need, or shop by business type, or shop for various a la carte products. Alaska Communications appears to have found an extremely valuable niche in the transportation industry with the fleet management tool, and by giving web shoppers various ways to explore the suggested products for their business type or need. Both these components seem to demonstrate their understanding that Alaska businesses prefer something fast and to the point—so they can get back to doing business. Alaska businesses have plenty of options from the telecom providers in the data commodity market to adapt to the digital age.  R


Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013


Managing Corporate Vehicle Fleets

Photo by Sam Amato

Delta Leasing yard at PrudhoeBay.

Growing industry for leased equipment ByMargaretSharpe


orporate fleets in Alaska are defined by the company that uses them. For the mining industry, it might be diesel crew-cab trucks or shuttle busses used to transport employees at a remote camp. On the North Slope, a broader range of fleet is needed to meet the needs of the different companies that operate there: SUVs, busses, vans, and crew-cab or flatbed pickups are typical. In town, corporate fleet vehicles run the gamut of street legal transportation. On the North Slope as well as metropolitan areas, corporations have trended toward leasing fleet vehicles and relegating the management to the leasing agency. Delta Leasing LLC has

“On the North Slope, all of our vehicles are (leased) out to third parties: ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, BP, Shell Oil, Repsol, Linc Energy,Savant—alltheplayers.” —Chris Maynard DirectorofBusinessDevelopment,Delta

been managing on the behalf of its clients for some time. Rudi von Imhof, president of Delta, says this option frees a company to focus more on company goals. “They’ve got bigger fish to fry,” he says. “They don’t want to worry about the details on vehicle equipment. They just want good, quality equipment that is operational and runs.” It also allows for regular up-

grades on vehicles, enabling companies to sustain state-of-the-art equipment and affordably replace outdated equipment. Different corporations have different needs. Delta clients include mostly oil and gas, mining and transportation companies. “On the North Slope, all of our vehicles are (leased) out to third parties: ConocoPhillips, Exxon MoApril 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly


bil, BP, Shell Oil, Repsol, Linc Energy, Savant—all the players,” says Chris Maynard, Delta’s director of business development. Their aim is to simplify the process for their clients—from providing the exact model to maintaining and even replacing the vehicle should it start to age and lose performance. The company began in 2002: three Anchorage business men, one small contract, and 10 trucks. They leased the trucks for a project in Delta Junction—thus the name. By the end of the contract, they had 30 to 40 vehicles at the project site. Today Delta has close to 400 vehicles in Prudhoe and over 100 in Anchorage.

In the Anchorage market, Delta provides vehicles for the corporate employee; they also service, track, and maintain them. “We want to take the day-to-day headache of managing a corporate fleet off their hands… we take care of that for them,” says Maynard. Von Imhof points out that they work behind the scenes in coordinating all the vehicle services for the client. Through communication and coordination, Delta can pick up a vehicle from the corporate site’s parking lot, install studded snow tires and service the vehicle, returning it back to the client’s lot in about half a day. “It’s seamless from their perspective, and it works well from our perspective,” says von Imhof. “We know the clients are driving safe vehicles, we know the vehicle are serviced, and our clients are happy.”

“We’ve seen tremendous growth (in the industry) in the fleet department. And it takes a good team of people that can ‘Tremendous Growth’ support the services that we “We’ve seen tremendous growth (in the industry) in the fleet department,” says offer and supply.” —Chris Maynard Director of Business Development, Delta


Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

Maynard. “And it takes a good team of people that can support the services that we offer and supply.”

Vehicles leased include sedans, pickup trucks and passenger vans. Delta’s niche is predominately corporate pickup trucks, SUVs and allwheel drive vehicles—be it sedans or passenger vans. They have also recently expanded into shuttle busses. “Out of our fleet, pickup trucks are number one, such as crew cabs, diesel trucks, half or three-quarter ton, long or short bed for our remote clients. And we also have a lot of SUVs for our corporate clients here in our urban environment,” he says. Delta has a standard checklist of items they add to their vehicles. Safety-related checks top the list, and von Imhof notes that “all vehicles are equipped with comprehensive first aid kits, fire extinguishers, backup alarms, in-gear alarms, and other safety items.” Safety isn’t the only add-on for fleet vehicles. “We found that factory power steering hoses and factory fluids that we get in these vehicles are generally not adequate for the arctic conditions that we’re dealing with up at Prudhoe.” So when new autos—fresh off the assembly line in Detroit—arrive in

Crew cabs are a popular vehicleinDelta Leasing’sfleet. Photos courtesy of Delta Leasing LLC

You’re looking at the Freightliner 122SD hauling a barge across Alaska’s unforgiving landscape. With Detroit™ DD16® engine ratings up to 600 horsepower and torque ratings up to 2050 lb-ft, it can pull heavy, oversized loads with confidence. And the 122SD boasts frame rail RBMs up to five million inch-pounds per rail. That’s the kind of rugged durability needed to make it from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez, grossing 160,000 pounds. To learn more, visit

Competitive financing available through Daimler Truck Financial. For the Freightliner Trucks dealer nearest you, call 1-800-FTL-HELP. FTL/MC-A-1237. Specifications are subject to change without notice. Copyright © 2013. Daimler Trucks North America LLC. All rights reserved. Freightliner Trucks is a division of Daimler Trucks North America LLC, a Daimler company.

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A Smarter Fleet Management by Smartphone


s vehicle engines become more computerized, it becomes easier to track recordable information. As computers and cell phones advance, sending and receiving that information gets incredibly easy. Using GPS and cellular-based technology, you can remotely monitor the operational status of your vehicle fleet. Companies like Alaska Communications offer fleet management via iPhone, Android or BlackBerry. The Alaska Communications service, appropriately named “Fleet Management,” communicates across its wireless network once every minute and can be programmed for specific customer-defined information. Through this data tracking program, a vehicle fleet can be more effectively managed and maintained. Vehicles with the onboard tracking device can be viewed on a map from the fleet manager’s computer or smartphone. Real-time vehicle data can then be analyzed as needed to improve maintenance, operation and expedition goals. Daily monitoring of fuel levels, maintenance schedules and engine fault codes can keep a fleet running efficiently and minimize downtime. Anything the vehicle computer records has the capacity to be transferred. Alerts can be set up to notify the fleet manager. For example, excessive idle times wear on an engine and increase fuel costs. Electronic notification of such a circumstance could be a cost saver for both fuel and repair budgets. Fuel consumption is a necessary expense for fleet vehicles, and today’s high fuel costs make it a hot topic. Using this technology to manage vehicle use—decreasing engine idle times, determining the quickest routes, avoiding traffic delays—can decrease gasoline or diesel costs with the added bonus of reducing air pollution. Real-time data, such as location, direction of travel and speed, can aid with dispatching, time management and safety for the operators. A GPS fleet tracking system can also increase productivity, recover stolen or missing vehicles or equipment, and provide current fleet vehicle status to manage the day’s mission. For big shippers, such as UPS, this technology saves money by saving time. Information can be electronically sent to weigh stations and digital scales, inspectors, or owners in advance, often allowing the vehicle to continue the route without having to stop. From a fleet owner’s standpoint, this recordable/reportable technology is a good tool. Drivers might see it differently though. Drivers could be judged on details such as when the vehicle is in park or in drive—some systems even have a seat sensor that alerts when the driver is out of the vehicle. As technology continuously advances, finding a balance in dealing with the increasing amount of data instantly available becomes more important. 126

Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

Delta’s shop, their technicians remove all those parts and replace them with arctic-grade parts. To manage their vehicle fleets, Delta has invested in software to coordinate the various services, such as scheduled oil changes and break checks. They use GPS technology to track and download additional data, such as verifying that an employee is using a vehicle correctly and not doing anything wrong, such as speeding. Delta has used Alaska Communications in the past. Maynard says, “they have a great product. Some of the best of what’s out there and available on the market.”

Alaska Challenges Managing vehicle fleets in Alaska has its challenges. “Our harsh winters, especially in Fairbanks and Prudhoe, can take a toll on fleet vehicles more so than any other region in the world. It is extra hard to stay on top of that,” says Maynard. “Plus the cost of doing business is a lot more in the remote parts and Alaska in general—it costs more to get the parts up here, parts availability, repair work—all of it— all the moving pieces. It’s just more expensive.” “Heated shop space is like gold (on the North Slope), von Imhof adds. “We have a team of eight to 10 technicians that are all GMC-certified… we were our own GM warrantee station just because there’s no service up north. It doesn’t do a customer any good when they are up there and they depend on a vehicle and it dies.” Although the climate is hard on the vehicles, Maynard points out that improved technology in new vehicles is moving toward eliminating that concern. “Trucks are not breaking as often; they are lasting longer. And it’s a way better product than what was out there 10 or 20 years ago.” This advancement is also changing past practices on the North Slope. Due in part to the extreme below-zero temperatures and the nature of the diesel engine, vehicles were often left running around the clock. “BP has really led the way in making the big move from diesel to gasoline trucks. The gasoline trucks start a lot easier than diesel, so there’s not the need for the excess waste of letting them sit there and idle.” BP even

has a rule: for BP employees, if it’s warmer than 20 below, turn off your vehicle or get a citation. ConocoPhillips is also starting to follow this policy. The change benefits both a financial and environmental standpoint. “They are really trying to crack down on… letting these trucks run around the clock. As long as there is an able bull rail (power source) to plug into,” says Maynard. “It is interesting to see the big oil companies being proactive at it and actually leading the change. I think it’s great that they’re doing it.” Delta has been making a similar transition in the past year, changing over to gasoline from diesel, now with twothirds gasoline and one-third diesel for their vehicle fleet.

What the Customer Wants Many fleet companies provide only one brand of vehicle; Delta follows their client demand, providing whatever brand is required for the specific project. “If a customer wants a Dodge, we’ll go get them a Dodge. If they want a Ford, we’ll get them a Ford. If they want GM, we’ll get GM,” says Maynard. “Because they might be working in a remote location where they don’t have access to gasoline, such as Conoco out at Kuparuk—then they don’t have access to gas, they have to use diesel.” Future clients benefit from this historical knowledge, says von Imhof. “One customer may say ‘I want to get this type of a vehicle for use in this type of application.’ And we say we’ll do whatever you like, but keep in mind, our other customer tried that six months ago and had some problems.” Based on feedback and experience, Delta can help with decisions on the right equipment for the end user. Delta’s services for vehicle fleets are broad and multi-faceted. Their upfront work includes rapid response in clientspecific requests, and they follow up with full management of the fleet through vehicle and customer service. Maynard says their level of service stands out— from response time on repairs to providing exactly what is needed, basically catering to the clients issues. “We are problem solvers. Transportation or mechanical for your fleet—we follow that problem for them. That is what really

has added to our growth—we are really nailing it on the service side.” An example of “issues” is demonstrated in a recent scenario that Maynard personally handled himself. He received a call from a client on a Friday night at 10:30 p.m. All vehicles at the client’s destination were sold out, and they needed an SUV yesterday. “We didn’t have an available vehicle on the lot that met their needs as exactly specified,” says Maynard, “so we managed to get an SUV off the showroom floor—working with Alaska Sales and Services at midnight—

and delivered it on time as promised to a chartered Herc by 1 a.m. Saturday.” And the final component for managing a corporate vehicle fleet? People. Good people that care about doing a good job for the customer, as von Imhof sums it up. “I don’t think any company in this industry can survive with poor or average customer service. It’s too important.” R Margaret Sharpe writes from Palmer.

Northland Services: Consider it done.

Contact us at 1.800.426.3113

April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly



Oilfield Service Companies Aerial view of MagTec Alaska’sDeadhorse facilities. Photo courtesy of MagTec Alaska


Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

Supporting oil and gas exploration and development in Alaska ByPaulaCottrell


he oil and gas industry is big business in Alaska with oil companies like Buccaneer, Furie and Linc Energy joining the ranks of BP, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell. Because oil throughput in the transAlaska oil pipeline is declining, these newcomers are exploring at an aggressive rate to work toward development and production in order to help fill the pipeline. Keeping up with all these companies are the many support services businesses that operate in Alaska’s oil fields, from Cook Inlet to the North Slope and the Arctic. From the mechanics who keep the equipment running to the caterers and housekeepers who service the camps, it takes a wide range of oilfield support service companies to ensure things are kept running smoothly. Here’s a closer look at three.

April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly


Environmental Support Services Pacific Environmental Corporation began providing oil spill response services to Alaska oil companies more than 20 years ago. During that time, they have seen their role as emergency oil spill response personnel evolve to take on a more proactive role. “It’s been several years since we’ve had a major event on the North Slope,” says Matt Melton, Alaska area manager for PENCO. “We’ve worked on a lot of oil spills over the years, but an increased attitude towards safer and cleaner work practices by our clients have required us to become versed in not just oil spill clean-up, but oil spill prevention as well.” Prevention requires a lot of monitoring and a thorough understanding of spill prevention countermeasures and controls. For PENCO field hands, this means being aware of everything that is happening on the pad. “The day is spent making the rounds, identifying any contamination, no matter how small, finding the source and ensuring it is brought to the attention of the client

“Thedayisspentmakingtherounds,identifyinganycontamination, nomatterhowsmall,findingthesourceandensuringitisbrought totheattentionoftheclientsotheproblemcanbecorrected.This includes making sure there are containments under vehicles and that those containments don’t show any signs of discharge from vehicles.” —Matt Melton AlaskaAreaManager,PENCO

so the problem can be corrected,” says Melton. “This includes making sure there are containments under vehicles and that those containments don’t show any signs of discharge from vehicles.” It’s up to the PENCO spill technician to be able to identify what kind of fluid has been discharged, the source and how to effectively clean it up. “By identifying the source, it allows the client to keep small problems from turning into big problems,” says Melton. “This proactive approach means better maintained equipment and safer operations.” Maintaining the integrity of spill containment areas, monitoring fluid and fuel transfers as well as general oil

field housekeeping tasks are all part of the job. “Our clients depend on the expertise and experience of our personnel out in the field to make sure all of their operations are safe and environmentally compliant,” says Melton. “We are trained in response, but being able to work around a pad and have an eye for things that aren’t right is a critical component to what we do.” Performing seasonal project specific work in addition to being available to respond to an oil spill of any size on a moment’s notice requires a large pool of on-call personnel to draw from. “Every time we send personnel to a worksite, it’s like a job interview,” explains Melton.

Where the road ends…

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Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013



PacArctic Logistics eginning this month, PacArctic Logistics will be offering a new option for shipping cargo into Cook Inlet at the port near Point Mack Mackenzie. The full-service transportation and logistics company is providing scheduled sailing services. PacArctic is offering seven such sailings this year at Port MacKenzie, located just a few miles from Anchorage. “The schedule enables us to look ahead and book freight early,” says President and Chief Executive Officer King Hufford III. “We can do charters outside our scheduled service to anywhere in Alaska, as long as there’s enough cargo for a barge.” A wholly owned subsidiary of Alaska Native regional corporation Koniag Inc., PacArctic is headquartered in Anchorage. It operates as a domestic ocean common carrier out of the Port of Olympia in Washington, where it loads and ships freight up to Port MacKenzie. From there, the company transports the cargo wherever it needs to go— whether it’s Fairbanks or the North Slope. Southeast may be a stop on the scheduled service in the future. At Port MacKenzie, PacArctic’s operations include a 230-ton crane capable of lifting heavy project cargo, and nearly eight acres of storage space. The company offers trans-loading, laydown, storage and other activities related to moving large projects. PacArctic employs various modes of transportation to allow clients to have a turnkey door-to-door project, including water, air freight, rail and trucking. The multi-faceted approach supports the company’s commitment to provide full-service transportation and logistics services in Alaska. It also embodies PacArctic’s distinctive tagline: Total Resource Integration. “We have the authority and understanding in mul-

©2013 Judy Patrick Photography


Total Resource Integration

tiple types of transportation, so we bring them together to deliver complete solutions,” Hufford says. EXTENSIVE EXPERTISE PacArctic is eagerly awaiting the completion of the Port MacKenzie Rail Extension project, which will connect the port to the main line of Alaska Railroad Corp. near Houston and Willow. Once the project is completed, PacArctic will install its own rail head to gain direct access to the spur. “It will provide us another economic way to move cargo through the Railbelt and Interior,” Hufford says. The company has a definite focus on project logistics for jobs large and small. It has a high level of expertise handling all types of over-dimensional and heavy cargo, including steel, concrete bridge beams, machinery and lumber, according to Hufford, who has nearly 30 years of experience with transportation, logistics and specialized shipping projects. COMPLETE SOLUTIONS PacArctic is well equipped to service projects involving energy, large infrastructure, remote camps, mining, commercial construction and oilfields. Recently, the company successfully PAID


transported equipment and supplies to a remote camp in Alaska. The project involved barging freight from the Pacific Northwest to Kodiak Island. From tidewater, PacArctic orchestrated more than 100 helicopter flights to the camp—carrying 3,000 pounds each trip. Regardless of the size job, PacArctic has the expertise to provide complete freight, storage and transportation solutions. The new scheduled sailing service will only enhance the company’s ability to provide practical solutions to meet clients’ transportation needs.

PacArctic Logistics Corporate Office King Hufford III, President & CEO 4300 B St., Suite 407 Anchorage, AK 99503 Phone: 253-922-7608 or 907-887-4252 Fax: 253-922-5750 • Point Mackenzie Office 28000 South Don Young Road, Suite 205 Wasilla, AK 99687 Phone: 907-357-0160 or 907-887-4252 Fax: 907-562-5258

“WiththerecentinterestinArctic exploration, OSI has ramped upitsoilfieldsupportservicesby providing terminal and logistical support services to the companies working in the Chukchi and Beaufortseas.Aswelookfordevelopmentinthatareatoincrease, OSIhasincreaseditscapabilities not just in Dutch Harbor, but in neighboringAdakwherewehave joinedforceswiththeAleutCorp. to provide logistics support for offshoredrillingoperationsinthe ArcticattheformerAdakmilitary base.In2010wecompletedconstructionofacustombuiltberthingforShell’sArcticclassdrillrig, theKulluk,thatincludesasecure storageandstagingarea.” —Rick Wilson BusinessManager,OSI

“They not only have to work well in the environment they are in, but to be asked back, they have to be safe workers.” This high standard combined with an outstanding safety record is what keeps PENCO working for some of Alaska’s biggest oil companies, according to Melton. “We are going on over three years without a loss-time incident. Our guys have raised the bar and that’s been key to our success on the North Slope and in Cook Inlet as well,” he adds.

Cook Inlet Support Services Another company with a solid foothold in Cook Inlet is Offshore Systems Kenai. Created in 1986 in response to strong customer demand for a full-service logistical support base for the offshore oil and gas operations in Cook Inlet, OSK began providing stevedoring and logistical support to companies exploring and developing in the area. Operations grew to include heavy equipment operation, warehouse and office space, potable water, fueling services, outside staging areas as well as a heliport and hangar. OSK is a member of the Ocean Marine Services group of companies

which were built to provide shorebased terminal and marine support and logistics solutions to the oil and gas explorers and producers in Alaska. Offshore Systems Inc., OSK’s partner in Dutch Harbor, was founded in 1982 to support oil exploration activities in the Bering and Chukchi Seas. According to OSI, they served as a support terminal, providing warehouse, storage, stevedoring services and fuel for the oil companies and their service providers exploring the Outer Continental Shelf. In the mid to late 1980s, oil exploration activity in the OCS tapered off and OSI shifted its focus to supporting the North Pacific and Bering Sea fishing fleet. However, with Shell’s recent offshore drilling program in the OCS recommencing, OSI has shifted its focus again to supporting the oil and gas industry in the Arctic. Due to its status as the closest icefree deep-water port to the Arctic, OSI is at the forefront of maritime support options for exploratory activities in the OCS. “With the recent interest in Arctic exploration, OSI has ramped up its oilfield support services by providing

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terminal and logistical support services to the companies working in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas,” says Rick Wilson, business manager for OSI. “As we look for development in that area to increase, OSI has increased its capabilities not just in Dutch Harbor, but in neighboring Adak where we have joined forces with the Aleut Corp. to provide logistics support for offshore drilling operations in the Arctic at the former Adak military base.” OSI’s facility in Dutch Harbor/Unalaska is the largest private terminal in the area with 1,500 feet of dock

space that includes five docks, 120,000 square feet of warehouse storage, 20 acres of outside storage/staging area, cold storage and 75,000 barrels of fuel storage capacity, according to Rick Wilson. “In 2010 we completed construction of a custom built berthing for Shell’s Arctic class drill rig, the Kulluk, that includes a secure storage and staging area,” he adds. Back in Cook Inlet, however, OSK has enjoyed the lion’s share of the market as the sole provider of dockside and stevedoring services for companies operating in Cook Inlet. That will

change, however, when ASRC Energy Services completes its $9.4 million expansion and upgrade to its Rig Tenders Dock marine facility in Nikiski, expected to be operational in the summer of 2013. The original Rig Tenders Dock was built in the late 1960s to support the expanding oil and gas industry in Cook Inlet. ASRC acquired the facility in 1997 and began developing it by installing a module fabrication and assembly yard. According to ASRC, the new dock facing will feature additional bumpers for vessel tie up, an upgraded ramp to accommodate landing craft vessels, fuel and potable water services and as well as crane operations and stevedoring services. How does OSK feel about someone new entering the Cook Inlet market? “Competition can only make us better,” says OSK Vice President Kelly McNeil. “We’ve spent decades building our relationships with our clients and with exploration and production on the increase, I foresee those partnerships continuing well into the future.”

Equipment and Project Support Services In the five years since MagTec Alaska began offering oil field support services to the North Slope, they have seen a significant increase in their business operations, according to Roger Wilson, MagTec North Slope operations manager. “Our commitment to customer service has allowed us to advance in the market,” he explains. As a full-service company that provides equipment rental and project support to companies operating in the Cook Inlet and North Slope oil fields, MagTec has found its niche by taking a proactive approach to customer service. “Full-service project support means providing top quality equipment to the job site complete with personnel capable of servicing and maintaining the equipment onsite. This cradle-to-grave approach to service ensures our customers are able to complete their projects efficiently and with the best equipment available,” explains Roger Wilson. Beyond the traditional oil field equipment rentals such as portable heaters, generators, light plants, man lifts and 134

Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013



Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

Magtec Alaska, LLC (907) 394-6350 Roger Wilson, Prudhoe Bay Skeeter Creighton, Kenai (907) 394-6305

zoom booms, MagTec provides a wide range of specialized portable buildings and fit-for-purpose job site buildings and equipment. MagTec has increased the variety of specialty equipment available to their clients as an incentive to work with MagTec according to Roger Wilson. “We work with our clients to identify their specific needs. Whether it is an outdoor building complete with toilet facilities or a 2 megawatt generator to support power requirements on a drill site, we can make it happen,” he adds. Growth for MagTec took a significant upswing as business development and operations on the North Slope increased. Supporting projects at Point Thomson and other prominent locations, MagTec built a presence in Deadhorse that includes a new shop on a 6.5 acre pad, an increased equipment line that includes new heaters, new generators, a fleet of new heavy duty Ford pickup trucks, and a new full-service man camp. The new man camp is a 58-man single status camp with office suites and a 100-person dining room. “Our camps division is independently operated by MagTec,” explains Roger Wilson. “We have our own catering and housekeeping staff which allows us to ensure quality while controlling costs for our clients.” The primary purpose of the camp is to support Shell’s Beaufort Sea operation during their presence, according to Roger Wilson. “The rest of the year it is rented out for winter drilling operations,” he adds. New drilling operations across the North Slope have meant an increase in equipment needs. “People need specialty equipment for their individualized projects. We help locate, transport and maintain that equipment onsite for our clients in the harshest conditions Alaska has to offer,” says Roger Wilson. Additional drilling operations on the North Slope have meant keeping up with an increased demand. “With drilling rigs exploring—between Repsol, Pioneer and Linc Energy—that generates a need for massive amounts of equipment,” says Roger Wilson. “And when you have things that make smoke, they are going to break—especially operating in Arctic conditions,” he adds. When that equipment requires servicing or repair, MagTec’s experienced staff is available on site in Deadhorse

Photo courtesy of PENCO

Bob Pratt PENCO Northslope OperationsManager(left)givingsafetyrecognitionawardstoTravisBusse(center)and TrevorHerman(right).BusseandHermanworkontheExxonprojectandarespilltechniciansforPENCO.

April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly


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and across the North Slope to provide fast response, enabling companies to get back to their operations quickly, safely and efficiently, according to Roger Wilson, who added: “We have a fulltime field mechanic who is stationed in Oliktok who services MagTec equipment on lease for the drilling programs in progress on the ice.” Understanding what oil companies are looking for has allowed MagTec to enjoy steady, increased growth. “It’s a tighter market with companies keeping an eye on the most cost effective and all inclusive services,” says Roger Wilson. “They want things packaged up. They don’t want to just rent equipment; they also want a full-service contract with a provider.” An integral part of this package is an outstanding safety program and commitment to safety developed the last few seasons by MagTec, including BBS Process, JSA Process, Journey Management Process, SSE Process and Stop Work Authority Process to mention a few. MagTec is very proud of the advances made and the management of their process to promote a safety culture that sets the standard for “safe behavior” in the industry. A Barrow high school graduate, with more than 37 years of experience working on the North Slope, Roger Wilson’s familiarity with logistics in the Arctic has made him a valuable asset in providing unique and specialized service to MagTec’s clients. By expanding their logistics and expediting services to include coordinators and field expeditors, MagTec has expanded this North Slope division to include work with government and research contracts. While a large percentage of operations happen on the North Slope, MagTec also has a significant presence on the Kenai Peninsula supporting Cook Inlet drilling operations. “Our company originally began in Kenai,” Roger Wilson says. “And we have not forgotten the value of the projects in the area as well as the potential for future growth in oil and gas development in Cook Inlet. We are pleased to be increasing our business lines on the North Slope, but we have never forgotten our loyalty to our Kenai client base.” R Paula Cottrell is an Alaskan author.


Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013


NPR-A Exploration Stymied

leum National Petro a Reserve-Alask

Interior Department obstructs progress ByMikeBradner


xploration has been relatively quiet in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s final approval earlier this spring on a long-range land management program for the 23-million-acre reserve isn’t going to speed things up. The new plan sets aside over half the reserve for wildlife protection, including areas near NPR-A’s northeast coast that are considered the most prospective for petroleum discoveries. However, there are still companies working on projects. The sole active explorer in NPR-A this winter is Linc Energy, an Australian independent company that has acquired federal leases at Umiat, in the far southeast of NPR-A. Decades ago, in an early round of exploration in the reserve, the U.S. Navy found a shallow oil deposit at Umiat.

Linc Looking for Oil Linc Energy thinks there could be a lot more oil than the Navy found and has brought a drill rig to Umiat this winter with plans to drill four to five wells. Bad weather, including some temperatures below negative 60 degrees Fahrenheit, hampered preparations for drilling, but the company hoped to have operations under way in early March. Linc Energy is using the Kuukpik No. 5 rig, which was brought to Umiat from Deadhorse over a 100-mile snow road. Cruz Construction, a contractor, built

the snow road, which was built off the Dalton Highway to Umiat from Pump Station 2, south of Deadhorse. The initial well will test the shallow oil accumulation the Navy found, which is at about 2,000 feet. Subsequent drilling will go deeper to search for other oil that Linc Energy believes is there. What is unique is that Umiat’s oil, at least that produced by the Navy and tested, is very high quality, over 40 degrees API. In fact, its qualities were such that it was used as fuel in engines by the Navy without refining. Those oil properties could be an advantage for Linc in building a pipeline to connect Umiat with the Trans Alaska Pipeline System because the high-API gravity oil will be able to flow through the pipeline to TAPS at cooler temperatures. Linc Energy has more than 100 people working on its project this winter, the company says.

Expected Exploration While no drilling is planned this year, another company that is evaluating leases acquired last spring in NPR-A is NordAq Energy, an independent company based in Anchorage. NordAq’s new leases are in the north-central part of NPR-A. The company has also acquired leases formerly held by FEX LLC, the U.S. exploration subsidiary of Talisman Energy, and also holds state offshore leases north of the reserve. FEX discovered oil and gas on its

leases in earlier drilling but was unable to do follow-up tests or further drilling. NordAq is interested in the broad geologic trend across the area from the offshore through the coastal area where FEX explored and found oil to NordAq’s new leases farther south. There are other oil and gas discoveries in the northeast part of the reserve, all of them likely modest in size, that are being evaluated by ConocoPhillips and Anadarko Petroleum Co., working as partners. The companies plan to do more evaluation of these after a bridge is built on the Colville River at the CD-5 project, a satellite of the producing Alpine oil field that is now planned for development. CD-5 is on the west side of the Colville River and just inside NPR-A, so it will provide the first commercial production from the reserve when developed. Meanwhile, the bridge and roads being built to support CD-5 will provide access to develop the discoveries farther west. ConocoPhillips warns, however, that development of these will also hinge on the outcome of efforts to modify the state’s oil and gas production tax. Even though NPR-A is federally owned, the state’s taxes apply to any oil and gas produced in the reserve. R Mike Bradner is publisher of Alaska Legislative Digest. April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly



Barrow Gas Fields Photo by Dimitra Lavrakas

The Barrow natural gas pipelinevalves.

Keeping homes heated and lights on ByDimitraLavrakas


arrow is blessed: it has gas. In fact, it has possibly the cheapest gas in all of Alaska thanks to three big fields right outside of town—the East and South Barrow Gas Fields, originally developed by the United States Navy in the 1940s but now owned by the North Slope Borough, and the Walakpa Gas Fields, a North Slope Borough project. Cheaper than what is charged for potable water, natural gas heats homes and runs the turbines that generate the electricity that the member-owned cooperative Barrow Utilities & Electric Coop Inc. then offers at a very reasonable residential rate to the residents of Barrow. A rate many villages in Alaska would envy. BUECI gets the natural gas from the North Slope Borough at $1 per 1,000 cubic feet (MCF), says Ben Franz, BUECI manager. “We use the natural gas for our energy source to run our turbines,” says Franz. “We do offer a residential rate now of $0.1106 (a bit over 11 cents KWH) to our membership.”


Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

We sell natural gas to our members after the base rate of $20.76 for the first 0-55 CCF (hundred cubic feet) and $0.3049 a CCF after the first 55 CCF (a bit over 30 cents a hundred cubic foot).” The BUECI staff is locally renowned and respected for getting electricity up and flowing quickly after severe Arctic storms, he says

Gas in Perpetuity Before World War II, the U.S. Navy produced a small amount of gas out past the Naval Arctic Research Laboratory to fuel the lab. After the war, the line was extended to Barrow proper and the two other fields, East Barrow and Walakpa, were developed after 1980 to provide additional gas to the growing Barrow community. The Barrow Gas Field Transfer Act of 1984 was visionary legislation for Barrow. It directed the Secretary of the Interior to convey to the North Slope Borough the subsurface estate held by the U.S., includ-

ing the Barrow gas fields and the Walakpa gas site, and any related support facilities, other lands, interests and funds. For decades, that first step proved to be a boon to the residents who lived where commodities like food and fuel came with a steep price.

An Earlier Project In 2009-2010, according to Alaska oil and gas field general contractor CONAM Construction Co.’s website, “CONAM along with Alaska Native partner Tikigaq of Pt. Hope and design engineer, Design Associates, provided turn-key structural, mechanical and electrical design, procurement and installation for three new double gas well locations at three remote Barrow Gas Field sites. Installations included single well platform with two well houses, pipelines, separator, methonol tank and a new SCADA system with control panels for each well site. Work also included VSM drilling and setting, cased road crossings, launcher and receiver,

The Latest Project But keeping the gas flowing far into the future led the borough to hold a vote in January 2011 to approve $35 million in general obligation bonds to re-drill the gas fields and cap some of the older wells. Voters agreed the project was worthy. According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Biological Opinion for the Barrow Gas Fields Well Drilling Program issued April 6, 2011, with consultation from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Alaska District, “The NSB with technical and management assistance from Petrotechnical Resources of Alaska proposes to drill and complete a total of up to six new natural gas production wells within two of its existing Barrow Gas Fields (East and Walakpa). In addition, plug and abandonment of up to eight depleted wells will be conducted at the existing East and South Barrow Gas Fields. All work proposed will be conducted on Ukpeagvik Inupiat Corporation (UIC) surface and NSB subsurface privately owned lands.”

To get an idea of where much of the project took place, 13 miles south of Barrow on the Chukchi Sea coast, the Walakpa Gas Field sits near Walakpa Lagoon, site of the 1935 crash that killed world-famous aviator Wiley Post and beloved humorist Will Rodgers. The East Barrow gas fields are a few miles to the east of Barrow, beyond the South Barrow gas fields, which are closer to Barrow, in a more south-easterly direction. The winters of 2011-2012 saw the work on the Walakpa field nearing completion. The Walakpa project was conducted during the winter months on frozen tundra using ice roads and ice pads to minimize disturbance to the fragile environment. Project documents indicated that four new production wells, well houses and up to 700 feet of new pipeline with vertical support members with power lines attached were to be installed. Well houses and equipment were to be staged on decking platforms supported on pilings over the tundra. Structures used during drilling were to be broken up this spring and transported before breakup. The rig was to be removed from the field and staged at

Photo by Dimitra Lavrakas

and modifications to the fields Primary Gas Handling Facility.”

Barrow natural gas pipeline.

a secure location in Barrow until being barged away to storage. With the work done, Barrow is assured of a continuing supply of natural gas for heat and generating relatively clean and inexpensive electricity.  Long-time Alaskan journalist Dimitra Lavrakas writes from Alaska and the East Coast.

April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly


oil & gAs

Hilcorp Alaska Staff Photo

Steelhead Platform is the youngestproductionanddrillingplatformthatHilcorpoperatesintheCookInletat25years ofage.Thefacilitywasinstalledin1986byBrown&Root.Located6.2milesoffshorefromTradingBay,thefacilitymeasures190-by-150-feetatitsproductiondeck.ConstructedoflowtemperaturesteelbyMitsubishiHeavyIndustriesof Hiroshima,Japan,theplatform’s18-foot-diameterlegsreach135-feettotheseafloorandcanwithstandthefrigidarctic watersto28degreesFahrenheitandfeaturessmokelessflares.Steelhead’soilrecoverysystemrecentlywasconverted fromgaslifttoElectricSubmersiblePump(ESP),allowingforgreaterefficiencyandoutputfromitsoilreservoirs,which areabout10,000-feetbelowtheseafloor.Itslowerdeckis70-feetabovethewater,anditsupperdecksits132-feethigh.

Cook Inlet Gas Woes Meeting Southcentral Railbelt utility needs ByMikeBradner


natural gas shortage in Southcentral Alaska this winter appears to have been averted, but longer-term problems in the regional gas supply picture remain. Hilcorp Energy LLC took control of Marathon Oil Co.’s Cook Inlet assets, mostly gas producing wells, on Jan. 31 as the sale of those assets was completed. Hilcorp had previously acquired Chevron Corp.’s Inlet properties, which included the producing offshore oil platforms.


Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

Hilcorp immediately went to work to increase production on the Marathon producing wells and also called on regional utilities like Enstar Natural Gas Co. to discuss their needs. Enstar has been worried about its supply because the utility is still short of having its 2013 gas requirements under contract, a situation Enstar has not been in before, at least not to this degree.

TheyareconvincedthereisgaswaitingtobefoundinCookInletandthattheexplorerswillfindit. Gas Supply Shortage The utilities’ gas supply shortage—Enstar’s in the short term and all utilities, including electric utilities—for a mid-term, has surprised many Alaska state officials and community leaders in the region. Cook Inlet is thought to have good potential for new natural gas discoveries, and a generous set of state incentives has attracted new explorers. Also, new gas is being discovered. The utilities believe, however, that not enough new gas is being discovered and that what is being found cannot be put into production fast enough to meet a projected shortfall. Imports of liquefied natural gas or compressed natural gas are being discussed, a notion that disturbs Gov. Sean Parnell. Parnell and other state officials, including Commissioner of Natural Resources Dan Sullivan, believe imports should be the last option. They are convinced there is gas waiting to be found in Cook Inlet and that the explorers will find it. Meanwhile, they are concerned about utilities locking themselves into long-term supply contracts on imported LNG or compressed gas and also investing in regasification and other facilities that local consumers will pay for through the rate base in utility bills. Meanwhile, Cook Inlet Natural Gas Storage Alaska, Southcentral Alaska’s new gas storage facility on the Kenai Peninsula, has been a savior for Enstar this winter. It is the first year of operation for CINGSA, and Enstar has been able to store gas produced last summer, which helps the gas “deliverability” problem during winter peak demand periods. Enstar’s parent company, owns CINGSA in a partnership with Warren Buffett’s MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co. Enstar’s Problem However, during very cold weather last December Enstar drew down its supply in storage much more heavily than had been anticipated. At the same time Hilcorp had notified Enstar that it was having to constrain supply to Enstar because of its own storage problems.

Plus, an auction-type bidding system the utility had put in place for shortterm gas supplies that enabled producers to bid to supply smaller quantities of gas for Enstar’s short-term needs, was not generating results. Producers in the Inlet appeared not to have any spare gas. Enstar was worried, and there was one point in December when the utility was within hours of asking

Anchorage’s city-owned Municipal Light & Power to fire up its oil-fired generators, which the city utility maintains in its gas-fired power plants, so as to divert gas supply to Enstar. What eased the situation was warmer weather in late December and January. Still, Enstar warned state legislators in a January briefing that there were still several weeks of winter left, and if there


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April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly


There is some better news, however. Cook Inlet Region’s new Fire Island wind project is now operating near Anchorage and during December generated power for its customer, Chugach Electric. That meant that Chugach didn’t need to burn as much gas that month. were more cold snaps and no new supply available Enstar could deplete its gas stored in CINGSA in March. Luckily, warmer winter weather continued. Also, after January 31 Hilcorp was able to take control of the Marathon wells and increase gas production. The crises appeared to have been diverted. However, had the cold weather continued and had there been no new gas, Enstar might have had to ask the electric utilities for help. They would have had to cut back their use of gas to divert the available supply to Enstar so that its system, vital to space heating across Southcentral Alaska, would have been preserved. To do this, the electric utilities would have had to take a number of steps, including switching to oil-fired generation— Anchorage’s Municipal Light & Power has that capability; have Chugach Electric Association possibly cut off its supply of power to the City of Seward—which has oil-fired backup generation; and to bring down power from Golden Valley Electric Association in Fairbanks—which has oiland coal-fired generation. Also, hydroelectric power from the Bradley Lake hydro project near Homer could be ramped up to some extent.

Fragile System This could preserve Enstar’s system, but the backup power generation plan would be expensive. This illustrates how fragile the system is. For example, the plan assumes GVEA in Fairbanks would have surplus power available or that it could ramp up its oil-fired generators to meet the Southcentral demand. There are also limitations on how much power can be brought down the Intertie line from Fairbanks. Likewise, there are limitations on the southern end, on the Intertie connection between the Kenai Peninsula and Anchorage, over which backup Bradley Lake hydro power would be delivered. While Enstar faces a supply problem this year, the gas situation for the electric utilities, like Chugach Electric and Anchorage’s city-owned ML&P, is less serious for the near term. Chugach has gas supply under contract until 2016 and ML&P has its own gas as a one-third owner of the Beluga gas field. However, the Beluga field production is declining at about 17 percent a year, so ML&P will soon be seeking other supplies, as will Chugach after 2016. Also, Matanuska Electric Association, serving the Mat-Su region north of Anchorage as well as the Eagle River and Chugiak communities in north Anchorage, will be bringing its new Eklutna gas-fired power plant on line. The plant is now in construction. MEA has not yet secured its supply of gas, but the plant is designed to also use fuel oil, although it is an expensive alternative. MEA may have to actually start up its plant with oil and operate in that mode until there is new gas. There is some better news, however. Cook Inlet Region’s new Fire Island

wind project is now operating near Anchorage and during December generated power for its customer, Chugach Electric. That meant that Chugach didn’t need to burn as much gas that month. The new Southcentral Power Project built by Chugach and ML&P has also gone into operation using gas-fired turbines that are much more efficient, using less natural gas to generate the same amount of electricity. ML&P is also installing more efficient generation equipment in its power plants in Anchorage, which will reduce its need for gas.

Undiscovered Solution It seems likely that the Southcentral utilities will muddle through this year at least, but how serious is the longerterm gas supply problem, and how did we get into this situation? Geologists feel there is a lot of undiscovered gas in Cook Inlet, so what’s the problem? Also, if Hillcorp was able to ramp up production from the Marathon wells in February after it took ownership, why wasn’t Marathon producing this gas earlier in December, when Enstar was really worried about supply? Hilcorp’s problem before it took over Marathon was that because it didn’t legally own Marathon’s properties it couldn’t make commitments to new contracts. Since Marathon was not active in the closing months of its owning the fields, it didn’t make new contracts, and little or no new gas was being developed. This problem was aggravated by an extended Federal Trade Commission investigation of the Marathon sale, which extended through most of 2012. State DNR Commissioner Dan Sullivan said that review essentially stopped most new gas development activity in the Inlet because of the uncertainties it created. It was only late in 2012, and after the state intervened to negotiate a Consent Decree with Hilcorp, that the FTC backed off on the investigation. Hilcorp won’t say how much gas remains in the Marathon properties but the fact that the company is now talking to utilities seems to indicate there is gas there. On the Horizon What about new gas discoveries? Several companies are exploring, including experienced, well-capital-


Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

ized firms like Apache Corp. While Apache is mainly targeting oil, as are most of the explorers, natural gas is usually found when oil is discovered. If gas is discovered offshore it will take several years for platforms and pipelines to be built. If gas is discovered onshore it will still take time, perhaps years, if infrastructure must be built or if there are permitting problems. If the gas is found near an existing pipeline, it might be in production fairly quickly. There are two gas discoveries where this could happen. One is NordAq’s discovery on Cook Inlet Region Inc. subsurface leases within the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. This could be an important discovery and it could be in production soon—by 2015—if the company receives its permits. It is very near a pipeline, too. A second gas discovery that could be produced soon is at Cosmopolitan, an oil and gas deposit about three miles offshore Anchor Point. More test drilling at Cosmopolitan is planned this spring by Buccaneer Energy with a jack-up rig, but the gas is known, lies a short distance from shore, and once ashore is near an existing pipeline. With luck, these two discoveries could fill the gap estimated to occur in 2014 and 2015, possibly avoiding the need for imported gas. After that, by 2016 or 2017, there could be larger discoveries. Furie Operating Alaska has made a gas discovery in Cook Inlet, but it is farther from shore and will require a pipeline and platform, if the discovery pans out. Also, by then there could be more new gas from Buccaneer’s onshore drilling and new development by Armstrong Oil and Gas around its small North Fork field east of Homer. In the longer term, by 2020 or later, gas could be brought from the North Slope by pipeline. There’s little doubt the gas is there in Cook Inlet. The question is whether enough of it can be found, and fast enough, to meet the needs of Enstar and the electric utilities. If not, imported gas is inevitable.  Mike Bradner is publisher of Alaska Legislative Digest.

April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly


ALASKA THIS MONTH Compiled By Tasha Anderson

dining Photo by Joey Halbison/Courtesy of Silver Gulch

Silver Gulch

Silver Gulch Brewpub located inFox,about10milesnorth ofFairbanks.


mong the many ways that one can support local Alaska businesses, perhaps the easiest to swallow is through following Silver Gulch President and cofounder Glenn Brady’s advice: “Support your local brewery; drink locally made beer!” Brady joined the brewing industry in 1998 when he founded Silver Gulch Brewing and Bottling Co. with fellow local Alaskan Charles “Chilkoot” Ward. Located in Fox, approximately 10 miles north of Fairbanks on the Steese Highway, the original location used to be the known as the Fox Roadhouse, owned by Brady’s grandmother. Silver Gulch purchased the building and initially only used a portion of it’s almost 36,000 square feet, Brady says. “It was too much space for us then, but now it isn’t quite enough,” he adds, explaining, “With changes in legislation governing breweries and brewpubs several years ago, we made the transition, and went from two employees to around 120 currently.” A change that had a positive impact—in December of 2012 Silver Gulch expanded with a new branch in the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport in the C-Concourse, behind security. Brady describes the menu as “beer-centric.” “In many instances this means dishes prepared with our beers,” Brady says. “In other cases, it means dishes that are designed to pair with or complement our beers.... This allows for a lot of creativity on the part of our brewers and kitchen staff.” The new airport location carries the same theme Brady says, but “the menu has been redesigned to better accommodate the traveling public.” Silver Gulch has two annual events at the Fox location: the Golden Days Summer Beer Festival in July and Oktoberfest in mid-September. According to Brady, they also periodically have other small events in conjunction with nonprofit organizations for fund raising, as well as paired “beer dinners, to promote beer culture, education and awareness.” 


Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

ALASKA THIS MONTH Compiled By Tasha Anderson


Photo by Tim Thomas

Alaska Heliskiing

Heli-skiing run outside of Haines.


laska is bursting with unique outdoor opportunities, one of which is provided by Alaska Heliskiing, based in Haines. Owned by Sean “Dog” Brownell and Vicki Gardner, also of Haines, Alaska Heliskiing provides services to film/production crews and individual skiers and snowboarders. Guests and clients are transported by helicopter to Haines’ mountain back-country that is otherwise unreachable, allowing access to mellow, scenic runs as well as steep lines—many more than 5,000 vertical feet. “Alaska Heliskiing is the oldest and largest heli-skiing operation in Southeast Alaska,” Gardner says. “The guiding service of Alaska Heliskiing is a pro team which is knowledgeable of the area and dedicated to making each client’s experience one of a kind.” “Alaska Heliskiing is by far the best heli-ski operation I’ve been to,” says world champion snowboarder Axel Pauporte. “Their guides are super friendly and extremely competent and always provide the highest standard of safety. I have been to a lot of other heli-ski operations around the world and I wouldn’t waste my time going anywhere else any more—no one comes close!” Services provided include fully customizable packages that generally consist of five to seven nights lodging with 18 to 30 runs of heli-skiing. Daily skiing is also available. Clients are combined into groups of five according to ability, and dates are flexible depending on the clients’ arrival and departure dates. Daycare is available. The season generally begins during the third week of February and runs until early May. Rates, reservations and reviews are all available online. 

“When the food is fabulous they remember the occasion. If the food is terrible they only remember the food.”

Leslie Pruett • 907 688-2005 • April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly


ALASKA THIS MONTH Compiled By Tasha Anderson


Photo courtesy of Anchoage’s Promise


A child learns about airsafetyatKidsDay.

A Support Your Staff SavE MonEY



BEnEfit Your BottoM LinE

Transit tax benefits save you money when employees choose People Mover 148

Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013


nchorage’s Promise is a local organization that works to ensure that five “promises” are given to every child: a caring adult, safe places, a healthy start, effective education and opportunities to help others. President of the board Dick Wells explains, “We believe if a child can receive any of these promises, the more the better, it will help them to be a better adult.” And one of the ways Anchorage’s Promise provides access to these promises is through their annual KidsDay & Teen City. This year marks the 30th anniversary of KidsDay, which is being held on April 20 at the Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event saw more than 18,000 attendees in 2012, and features more than 100 booths with information and resources for children. It is an opportunity for children and adults, Wells says, as “one of the great take-aways from KidsDay is an opportunity for the vendors to talk and collaborate.” But KidsDay isn’t confined to the convention center; it’s a city-wide effort to engage children and young adults. As part of the day, children have free admission to the Imaginarium, the Anchorage Museum, the Alaska Aviation Museum at Lake Hood, the Alaska Zoo, and the Alaska Museum of Science and Nature. In addition, children can ride the PeopleMover at no charge on KidsDay. Wells says Anchorage’s Promise’s work to support Alaska children and youth has resulted in Anchorage being named one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People—a national award given by America’s Promise—for the last six years. Information and donation or volunteer opportunities can be found through its website. 


Compiled By Alaska Business Monthly Staff

Anchorage 8-31

At Home with the Clarks

A traditional 1960s American family faces seemingly insurmountable difficulties involving teenagers growing up, time travel, nuclear war and a world overrun by zombies. The world premier of the Rand Higbee comedy. Anchorage Community Theatre, various times.


Knik Canoers & Kayakers Annual Safety Class

This is KCK’s annual refresher course in boating safety for sea kayaking, canoeing, kayaking, packrafting and rafting, as well as an opportunity to sign up for classes in canoeing and rafting. Z. J. Loussac Public Library, boating class sign-up at 6 p.m., meeting at 6:30 p.m.


NYO Games

Previously known as the Native Youth Olympics, these games include 10 events based on games past generations of Alaska Native people played as a way to test their hunting and survival skills, increase strength and maintain endurance, agility and the balance of mind and body. Dena’ina Civic & Convention Center, various times.

Fairbanks 7

Arctic Chamber Orchestra

Conducted by Eduard Zilberkant and featuring guest artist James Tocco on piano, the orchestra will perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 and Mother Goose complete ballet music by Ravel. There is a preconcert lecture at 3 p.m. Charles W. Davis Concert Hall, UAF, 4 p.m.


The Velveteen Rabbit

Opera Fairbanks presents the classic children’s tale of the love of a child creating reality. The production is in English and fully staged. Pioneer Park Centennial Theatre, 7 p.m. April 12-13 and 2 p.m. April 14.

Girdwood 19-21

Spring Carnival

This carnival takes advantage of the long days with extended hours of lift operations, great spring skiing conditions and Slush Cup, where competitors dressed in costumes attempt to skim across a 90-foot long pool of freezing water. Other activities include the KWHL costume party, Idiot Swim, Dummy Downhill, XTRAUF Pull tug-of-war and live music. Alyeska Resort, various times.

Isabel Pass 8-14

Arctic Man Classic

Attracting approximately 13,000 spectators in 2012, Arctic Man is one of the world’s toughest downhill ski races: The skier begins at a summit elevation of 5,800 feet and drops 1,700 feet in less than two miles to the bottom of a narrow canyon, where he meets up with his snowmobiling partner, on the go, who pulls the skier with a towrope 2.25 miles uphill–the two then separate and the skier goes over the side of the second mountain and drops another 1,200 feet to the finish line. Arctic Man also includes an awards banquet, raffle and concert featuring Ken Peltier. Isabel Pass, mile 197.5 Richardson Hwy., various times.

Juneau 8-14

Alaska Folk Festival

The oldest and largest gathering of its kind of musicians from Alaska and beyond for a week of performances, workshops and dances. All evening

concerts, workshops and dances are free and open to the public. Centennial Hall, various times.

Ketchikan 1-30

Alaska Hummingbird Festival

The festival includes guided hikes, art shows– including an opening reception on April 5 at 5 p.m., activities for children, and many other birding activities. Southeast Alaska Discovery Center, various times.

Kodiak 19-29

Whale Fest

This events celebrates the return of Eastern Pacific gray whales to Alaska waters. It includes whale watching and birding hikes, school presentations, ocean-related film festivals, art shows for children and adults and marine mammal lectures–including a very popular shark dissection, music and more. Various locations and times.


Arlo Guthrie

Guthrie is an American folk singer, best known for his protest works such as Alice’s Restaurant, Coming into Los Angeles, and City of New Orleans. Gerald C. Wilson Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Petersburg 28

Blessing of the Fleet

The annual blessing of Petersburg’s fishing fleet, the largest in Southeast Alaska, is sponsored by the Sons of Norway lodge. Coffee and pastries are served after with visiting and stories about the various boats and old time fishermen and women. Open to the community and broadcast over the radio. Fisherman’s Memorial Park.

Skagway 9-12

Southeast Alaska Regional Artfest

The event offers a variety of hands-on, project-oriented art workshops to local and visiting students as well as local adults as space permits. It ends Friday evening with a public exhibit of all of the artwork produced by students and adults during the workshops; student art completed previously and brought to Artfest for a juried exhibit; and a silent auction of donated art to help fund Artfest. Skagway School, various times.

Wasilla 19-2

Today’s Woman Show

This event is packed with cool jewelry and handbags, make-up tips and tricks, delicious gourmet treats and more. Besides shopping, there will be runway fashion shows, cooking classes, fine arts and crafts, health screenings, gardening information and everything for a wedding. Menard Memorial Sports Center, Fri. 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Sat. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sun. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Wrangell 25-28

Stikine River Birding Festival

The largest springtime concentration of bald eagles in North America takes place on the Stikine River Delta. This festival is an opportunity to observe millions of shorebirds, as well as participate in other activities such as a photo contest, speaker and bird walk, Ducks Unlimited dinner, public art classes with feature artist Kathy Hocker and a golf tournament. Various locations and times.

April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly


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Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013


By Paul Davidson

The Rise of the Service Economy

Alaska Trends, an outline of significant statewide statistics, is provided by the University of Alaska Center for Economic Development.

















ervice provision and goods proService Provision to Goods Production duction are the two main distinctions used by the U.S. Bureau of Employment Ratio Labor Statistics (BLS) and the State of 8 Alaska regarding total nonfarm employment. Industries identified as goods 7 producing include mining and logging, 6 construction and manufacturing. service providing industries are more var5 ied and include trade, transportation 4 Alaska and utilities, professional and business 3 services, education and health services, U.S. leisure and hospitality, other services 2 and government. U.S. employment data 1 from the BLS shows increasing prevalence in service industry employment 0 from 62.44 percent of total nonfarm employment in 1939 to 86.23 percent in 2012. Demonstrating why that is, the data reveals 502.74 percent growth in total service industry employment from 1939 to 2012, from producing goods. 2012 has an average of 6.26 people em19.13 million to 115.33 million employees. Contrasting ser- ployed in providing services for every one person employed vice provision employment, goods production employment producing goods in the U.S. Data for Alaska, starting in shows a very modest increase of 59.93 percent, from 11.51 1990, shows greater employment in service providing inmillion in 1939 to 18.41 million in 2012. dustries relative to goods production than the U.S. as a The chart shows the ratio of annual employment in the whole. Employment in goods production shows 9.56 perservice provision industries to goods production indus- cent growth in Alaska from the ‘90s average to the average tries. The data for 1970 shows 2.2 people employed in a of 2002-2012 while U.S. goods production shows a decline service industry in the U.S. for every one person employed of 11.66 percent over the same period. ď ’ SOURCE: State of Alaska:, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:


April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly




GENERAL Personal Income – Alaska Personal Income – United States Consumer Prices – Anchorage Consumer Prices – United States Bankruptcies Alaska Total Anchorage Total Fairbanks Total EMPLOYMENT Alaska Anchorage & Mat-Su Fairbanks Southeast Gulf Coast Sectorial Distribution – Alaska Total Nonfarm Goods Producing Services Providing Mining and Logging Mining Oil & Gas Construction Manufacturing Seafood Processing Trade/Transportation/Utilities Wholesale Trade Retail Trade Food & Beverage Stores General Merchandise Stores Trans/Warehouse/Utilities Air Transportation Information Telecommunications Financial Activities Professional & Business Services Educational & Health Services Health Care Leisure & Hospitality Accommodation Food Services & Drinking Places Other Services Government Federal Government State Government State Education Local Government Local Education Tribal Government Labor Force Alaska Anchorage & Mat-Su Fairbanks Southeast Gulf Coast Unemployment Rate Alaska Anchorage & Mat-Su Fairbanks 152

By Paul Davidson



Latest Report Period

Previous Report Period (revised)

US $ US $ 1982-1984 = 100 1982-1984 = 100

3rd Q12 2nd Q12 2nd H12 2nd H12

34,050 13,397,827 206.62 230.34

33,918 13,327,797 205.22 228.85

33,785 13,229,347 202.58 226.28

0.78% 1.27% 1.99% 1.79%

Number Filed Number Filed Number Filed

December December December

30 26 3

52 38 10

72 53 15

-58.33% -50.94% -80.00%

Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands

December December December December December

336.15 188.77 44.21 34.76 34.86

336.26 188.22 44.13 35.32 35.33

337.29 189.78 44.81 35.79 34.36

-0.34% -0.53% -1.33% -2.89% 1.45%

Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands

December December December December December December December December December December December December December December December December December December December December December December December December December December December December December December December December December

315 33.9 281.0 16.6 16.3 13.1 12.1 5.2 3.0 62.2 6.4 35.1 6.2 9.9 20.7 5.7 6.3 3.9 15.0 27.5 46.8 32.7 27.9 5.7 17.9 10.9 85.4 15.7 26.2 8.6 43.5 26.2 3.8

317800.0 36.4 281.4 16.7 16.4 13.2 12.8 6.9 4.8 62.0 6.5 34.9 6.2 9.9 20.6 5.6 6.3 4.0 14.6 27.1 47.1 32.8 28.0 5.8 18.2 11.0 85.3 15.4 26.5 8.6 43.4 26.2 3.8

313.1 34.6 278.5 16.3 16.0 13.4 13.1 5.2 2.0 62.2 6.0 35.5 6.2 10.5 20.7 5.7 6.5 4.3 14.7 25.7 43.8 32.1 29.2 5.5 19.5 11.2 85.2 16.2 26.2 8.6 42.8 25.3 3.7

0.57% -2.02% 0.90% 1.84% 1.88% -2.24% -7.63% 0.00% 50.00% 0.00% 6.67% -1.13% 0.00% -5.71% 0.00% 0.00% -3.08% -9.30% 2.04% 7.00% 6.85% 1.87% -4.45% 3.64% -8.21% -2.68% 0.23% -3.09% 0.00% 0.00% 1.64% 3.56% 2.70%

Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands

December December December December November

361.73 200.34 47.12 37.55 38.28

359.66 199.01 46.76 37.84 38.38

365.71 203.40 47.49 38.36 38.78

-1.09% -1.50% -0.78% -2.10% -1.30%

Percent Percent Percent

December December December

7.1 5.8 6.2

6.5 5.4 5.6

7.6 6.3 6.6

-6.58% -7.94% -6.06%

Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

Year Ago Period

Year Over Year Change


By Paul Davidson



Latest Report Period

Previous Report Period (revised)

Percent Percent Percent

December December December

7.5 8 7.5

6.7 7 7.4

8 9 8.3

-6.25% -11.11% -9.64%

Millions of Barrels Billions of Cubic Ft. $ per Barrel December Active Rigs Active Rigs $ Per Troy Oz. $ Per Troy Oz. Per Pound

December December December

17.21 9.46 107.31

16.95 9.12 105.24

18.34 9.59 106.55

-6.14% -1.32% 0.71%

December December December December December

7 1784 1,687.94 31.96 1.01658

8 1809 1,746.68 32.44 0.95201

8 2002 1,652.52 30.41 0.96

-12.50% -10.89% 2.14% 5.09% 6.12%

Millions of $ Millions of $ Millions of $

December December December

29.18 3.94 25.25

15.32 8.20 7.12

8.21 2.65 5.56

255.24% 48.44% 353.77%

Total Deeds Total Deeds

December December

No Data 335

No Data 283

1093 323

N/A 3.72%

VISITOR INDUSTRY Total Air Passenger Traffic – Anchorage Total Air Passenger Traffic – Fairbanks

Thousands Thousands

December December

347.67 71.05

334.11 65.79

349.88 66.68

-0.63% 6.55%

ALASKA PERMANENT FUND Equity Assets Net Income Net Income – Year to Date Marketable Debt Securities Real Estate Investments Preferred and Common Stock

Millions of $ Millions of $ Millions of $ Millions of $ Millions of $ Millions of $ Millions of $

December December December December December December December

43,654.80 44,275.10 364.9 607.3 (11.2) 5.12 399.9

42,978.90 43,598.90 176.2 462.6 5.3 1.50 239.8

38,646.70 39,007.80 193.4 (5.8) 61.9 1.1 (209.8)

12.96% 13.50% 88.68% -10570.69% -118.09% 365.86% -290.61%

BANKING (excludes interstate branches) Total Bank Assets – Alaska Cash & Balances Due Securities Net Loans and Leases Other Real Estate Owned Total Liabilities Total Bank Deposits – Alaska Noninterest-bearing deposits Interest- bearing deposits

Millions of $ Millions of $ Millions of $ Millions of $ Millions of $ Millions of $ Millions of $ Millions of $ Millions of $

3rd Q12 3rd Q12 3rd Q12 3rd Q12 3rd Q12 3rd Q12 3rd Q12 3rd Q12 3rd Q12

2,191.15 61.20 169.47 1,137.65 8.01 1,917.02 1,863.43 599.95 1,263.48

2,100.47 56.74 163.91 1,129.26 8.21 1,832.07 1,787.23 527.08 1,260.16

2,105.62 49.64 156.23 1,097.05 7.05 1,847.06 1,800.05 543.72 1,256.33

4.06% 23.30% 8.48% 3.70% 13.69% 3.79% 3.52% 10.34% 0.57%

FOREIGN TRADE Value of the Dollar In Japanese Yen In Canadian Dollars In British Pounds In European Monetary Unit In Chinese Yuan

Yen Canadian $ Pounds Euro Yuan

December December December December December

83.64 0.99 0.62 0.76 6.29

80.86 1.00 0.63 0.78 6.28

77.84 1.02 0.64 0.76 6.36

7.44% -3.25% -3.27% 0.60% -1.12%


Southeast Gulf Coast United States PETROLEUM/MINING Crude Oil Production – Alaska Natural Gas Field Production – Alaska ANS West Cost Average Spot Price Hughes Rig Count Alaska United States Gold Prices Silver Prices Zinc Prices REAL ESTATE Anchorage Building Permit Valuations Total Residential Commercial Deeds of Trust Recorded Anchorage–Recording District Fairbanks–Recording District

Year Ago Period

Year Over Year Change

April 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly


Advertisers Index AES Alaska Executive Search........................17 Ahtna Inc.....................................................................67 Alaska Air Cargo . ................................................133 Alaska Air Transit................................................146 Alaska Investigation Agency LLC................73 Alaska Media Directory..................................149 Alaska Process Industry Career Consortium.......................................15 Alaska Public Media....................................79, 93 Alaska State Chamber of Commerce......85 Alaska USA Federal Credit Union...............33 American Marine / PENCO...........................151 Apache Alaska Corp.........................................106 Arctic Controls....................................................144 Arctic Office Products ( Machines)....... 122 Bristol Bay Native Corp.....................................37 Calista Corp..............................................................99 Carlile Transportation Systems...................29 CH2M HILL............................................................104 Chris Arend Photography.............................154 CIRI.................................................................................26 Construction Machinery Industrial LLC......................................................2 Craig Taylor Equipment....................................46 Credit Union 1..........................................................71 Cruz Construction Inc....................................130 Davis Constructors & Engineers Inc. .....89 Delta Leasing LLC...............................................124


Denali General Contractors..........................96 Donlin Gold............................................................106 Dowland-Bach Corp..........................................135 Doyon Drilling.......................................................136 EDC Inc........................................................................48 Eklutna Native Corp.............................................75 Engineered Fire & Safety...............................138 ERA ALASKA............................................................19 ERA Helicopters.................................................. 114 Fairbanks Convention & Visitors Bureau................................................63 First National Bank Alaska.................................5 Fountainhead Hotels.........................................111 Futaris............................................................................81 GCI . .....................................................................13, 145 Global Services Inc. ............................................48 Granite Construction.........................................49 Great Originals Inc..............................................117 Green Star Inc......................................................150 Horizon Lines............................................................53 Island Air Express...............................................147 Judy Patrick Photography............................145 Juneau Convention & Visitors Bureau...64 Junior Achievement.............................................97 Kinross Ft. Knox.....................................................69 Lounsbury & Associates..................................117 Lynden Inc. ..............................................................155 MagTec Alaska LLC............................................136

Alaska Business Monthly | April 2013

Matanuska Electric Association Inc. (MEA)...............................26 Mikunda Cottrell & Co. . ................................ 114 N C Machinery........................................................ 45 NANA Regional Corp......................................108 New York Life............................................................11 Nortech Inc............................................................... 43 Northern Air Cargo.................................118, 119 Northland Services............................................127 Northrim Bank........................................................ 47 NTCL ..........................................................................138 Offshore Systems Inc........................................137 Oxford Assaying & Refining Inc................147 PacArctic Logistics..............................................131 Pacific Alaska Freightways..............................27 Pacific Pile & Marine...............................8, 9, 10 Pacific Rim Media/ Smart Phone Creative..............................149 Paramount Supply.............................................150 Parker, Smith & Feek............................................35 PenAir . ......................................................................134 People Mover . ....................................................148 Personnel Plus......................................................146 Platters Catering.................................................147 Renewable Energy Alaska Project............ 23 Rotary District 5010........................................148 Sealaska Corp. . ....................................................143 Seekins Ford Lincoln Fleet............................132

SGS...................................................................................59 Shoreside Petroleum...........................................17 Span Alaska Consolidators..............................51 Stellar Designs Inc.............................................150 STG Inc.........................................................................28 SunGard Availability Services.................... 121 The Superior Group...........................................111 Susitna Energy Systems.....................................39 TelAlaska......................................................................32 The Kuskokwim Corp.........................................87 Totem Ocean Trailer Express (TOTE)...129 Trailboss Solutions................................................39 Trailercraft Inc. Freightliner of Alaska....125 True North FCU..................................................150 Ukpeagvik I単upiat Corp....................................77 UMIAQ....................................................................... 141 Unisea........................................................................105 United Way of Anchorage............................... 95 University of Alaska Statewide....................31 Usibelli Coal Mine Inc....................................100 Visit Anchorage.......................................................65 Washington Crane & Hoist.............................55 Watterson Construction Co........................ 50 Wells Fargo ............................................................156 Workers Compensation Commission of Alaska Inc.....................150 XTO Energy .................................................................3


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April-2013-Alaska Business Monthly  

Racing to Success! Alaska Business Monthly’s 2013 Corporate 100. An Alaska executive pairs modern technology with classic Alaskan techniques...

April-2013-Alaska Business Monthly  

Racing to Success! Alaska Business Monthly’s 2013 Corporate 100. An Alaska executive pairs modern technology with classic Alaskan techniques...